Fattoria La Braccesca is an estate in the Montepulciano region of Tuscany, on the edge of the commune of Montepulciano, in Frazione Gracciano, close to the village of Petrignano, which is in Umbria (Rosemary George MW, Treading Grapes: 2004, p.195). La Braccesca was once part of the holdings of the Bracci counts– who gave their name to it. The counts, whose name means “arm” in Italian, also gave their coat of arms to the property, an armoured arm which holds a sword. Wines are made under the following denominations: Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Cortona DOC, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOC, and Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC.
The estate: The property extends over 508 hectares (1,255 acres) situated in two very close, but entirely different, zones.
Vineyards | Antinori began planting new vineyards in the early 1990’s, with machine picking in mind (Rosemary George MW, Treading Grapes: 2004, p.195). The overall vineyard surface of La Braccesca is around 300 hectares (750 acres). Classic varieties such Sangiovese from the estate’s own mass selections were planted, as were non-native grapes as Merlot and Syrah; the latter, in the neighbouring commune of Cortona (for Cortona DOC).
Montepulciano vineyards: The historic nucleus of the winery is located in the commune of Montepulciano, with 103 hectares (almost 260 acres) of vineyards in the best sub-zones known for the production of Nobile di Montepulciano. The vineyards for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG wines come from the Cervognano, Santa Pia, and Stella di Valiano sub-zones. Of the 103 hectares at Montepulciano, 73 hectares (180 acres) are situated in three of the most renowned sub-zones for the production of excellent Montepulciano red wine: Cervognano, Gracciano, and Santa Pia. These vineyards contain mainly Sangiovese and, to a lesser extent, Merlot and Syrah. Their soil is, on the whole, clayey (red clays) and rather rocky.
Cortona vineyards: The other site with 162 hectares (over 400 acres) of vineyards is located at the foot of the hills surrounding Cortona. These vineyards are situated at approximately 290-300 meters (950-1000 feet) above sea level and are planted principally to Syrah. Here the soil is of mixed composition and well endowed both with clay and with loam. These vineyards produce wine under the Cortona DOC.
Winery: Temperature-controlled stainless steel fermenting tanks (cooling, warming) of various sizes. Automatic systems for either pump overs or rack and return. The ageing cellars are completely below ground level, and are divided into two spaces for barrels and for casks. They house both 60 gallon and 130 gallon barrels and larger casks of different sizes coopered from various types of oak: French, American, and Hungarian are all used according to the personality of the wine they will contain.
Cortona Rosso DOC, Bramasole: 2000 100% Syrah. First vintage. | 2008 Picked during the second half of September. Production per vine was very low and averaged 1kg to 1.5kg. Hand picked. Destemmed. Cold soak (3-4 days) at 7° centigrade (45° Fahrenheit). Fermented at a maximum level 28° centigrade (82° Fahrenheit). 20 day fermentation. Aged in new, French oak barrels (60 gallons in capacity) where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation and began a sixteen month period of barrel aging. Bottling took place during the summer of 2010.
Cortona Rosso DOC, Achelo: 2005 First vintage. | 2010 100% Syrah. Pre-harvest selection helped the Syrah to ripen. Destemmed, pressed, cool maceration on skins to favour the extraction of aromas. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at 28° centigrade (82° Fahrenheit) maximum. After approximately seven to ten days, and before the completion of the fermentation, the wine went into barrel where it was put through a complete malolactic fermentation. It then aged for a further six months in oak barrels which had been used once previously.
Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Sabazio: The wine takes its name from Sabatino Lulli, known as “Sabazio”, a monk of the abbey of Montepulciano who, during the Middle Ages, gave the first indications of how to ferment and age the wines of this southeastern part of Tuscany. | 1992 The first vintage of La Braccesca’s Rosso di Montepulciano was the 1992. | 2010 85% Prugnolo Gentile, 15% Merlot and other complementary red varieties (eg Canaiolo). Want a wine with fruit at the forefront, so it spends only four months in botti.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, La Braccesca
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva, Vigneto Santa Pia: From a 15-hectare vineyard located in Santa Pia, one of the localities most well known for the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Planted with a biotype of Sangiovese.
Fattoria La Braccesca
Via Stella di Valiano, 10
Fraz Gracciano (SS 326) 15
I-53045 Montepulciano (SI), Italy
Tel+39 0578.724252 | www.labraccesca.it