Il Palagione is an organic estate winery in the far south of the San Gimignano region of Tuscany in Italy. It makes white wine under the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG and red wine under the Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG. The farmstead, which dates to 1594, has a hilltop location in Località Palagione–Castel San Gimignano along the scenic road connecting San Gimignano to Volterra, with views across the surrounding valley, including a view of San Gimignano. It is recorded at the Land Registry as a building of notable historical value due to the unaltered features of rural architecture. Up to the mid-twentieth century the estate was famed by share cropper farmer families (see mezzadria).
The current owners acquired the estate in 1995. They restructured the farm, replanted vineyards on land that once had vines. They built a winery and ageing cellar in 2001 with an underground barrel cellar. In 2014 another vineyard at Montagnana was added, leaving the estate with 50ha of land of which 17ha of vineyards, 3ha of olive trees, 7ha of walnut and cherry trees and the remaining part arable and woodland.
Owners: Il Palagione sas di Rota Monica & c. Monica Rota and Giorgio Comotti (who I think founded this estate in 1996). Giogio’s son is Gregorio.
Staff: Consultant: Paolo Caciorgna. Agronomist: Federico Curtaz; Stefano Bartolomei.
Estate vineyards: 2013 10 hectares (30,000 bottles) of which 3.5ha Vernaccia and the rest San Gimignano Rosso and IGT. Vines in two places (see below). Average altitude of 280–320 metres. Some of the plot face north| 2018 18ha of vines. 7ha of Vernaccia, 11ha for red wine.
Palagione vineyard: Vineyards located in such area are in the southern part of the town of San Gimignano at a variable altitude between 250 and 350 meters above sea level mainly facing NE – E, SE, SW. The predominant grape varieties are Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile. Geologically it is a typical littoral-originated zone, where stratified sands of the Pliocene Superior rich of big fossils, with characteristic pebbles, gravel and clays. A part of vineyards is set on more ancient areas showing Triassic cavernous limestone. Composition: Sands 50-70%, Loam 20-30% – Clays 10–20%
Montagnana vineyard: Along the Francigena pilgrim route, these vineyards lie near San Gimignano’s town wall, the view shows breathtaking panoramas in each direction. Altitude varies from 150 to 250 meters above sea level facing mainly SW. The predominant varieties are Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Sangiovese and Merlot. A very high presence of fossils, together with Pliocene sands with ocraceous clays and pebbles takes us back to a marine past of approx. 4-5 million years ago.
Sotto Strada Vineyard: 1.5ha. 40% sand, 30% yellow clay, 30% shells, ‘limo’, and alluvia. Planted 1998.
Organic certification: 2007 Went organic for both vines and olives. | 2012 First vintage with full organic certification.
Toscana Bianco, Enif: 2005 Trebbiano and Malvasia. 3,500 bottles. | 2006 5000 bottles. 75% Trebb + 25% Malvasia.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Hydra: 2003 Bit green at Ristorante Il Pino, San Gimignano on Sunday 13th Feb 2005. | 2005 15,000 bottles. | 2006 12-15,000 bottles. | 2008 Again very open texture with bite, vg, length too (Anteprima 2013). | 2012 Interesting texture, quite unique, soft and mineral, very good (Anteprima 2013). |
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Lyra, Selezione Montagnana: Single vineyard. Clay soil, marine sediments. | 2016 Rich textuure (Anteprima 2019). | 2017 MLF partly in oak, the rest in stainless steel with no MLF. Creamy, very good (Anteprima 2013)
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Le Ginestrelle: 2012 Unoaked. Citrus and nut, nice weight, lip-stinging and clear, medium-bodied (DWWA 2013).
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Lei: 2017 590 bottles. From the ‘Sotto Strada’ block (see above). Picked early. Open top ferment in a 600-litre vat. Ambient yeast. No temperature control. 35 days on skins, cap punched down. Licorice and lemon fruit, very individual (Anteprima 2020).
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva, Ori: 2006 Burgundy style, acetaldyde but fresh (Anteprima 2013). | 2011 Very soft texture (Anteprima 2013). | 2017 13.5% alc. Blend of sites. MLF in oak. Rich, focussed (Anteprima 2019). | 2018 13.5% alc. 60% MLF, 40% no MLF. Creamy, bright, distinct style (Anteprima 2020).
San Gimignano Rosato DOC, Sunrosè
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Caelum: 2004 15,000 bottles. 2005 15,000 bottles.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG Riserva, Draco: 2004 3,000 bottles.
San Gimignano Merlot DOC, Ares: 100% Merlot.
Antajr, Toscano Rosso: Initially sold as Altair, but this name was already registered. | 2001 50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon; 18 months new oak. New wood, peppery, light, clean at Ristorante Il Pino, San Gimignano on Sunday 13th Feb 2005. | 2003 Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 7,000 bottles.
Trevite, Toscano Rosso: The name means ‘three vine varieties.
Azienda Agricola Il Palagione
Località Palagione – Castel San Gimignano
I-53037 San Gimignano (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.953134 | Website www.ilpalagione.com