La Selva is an organic estate in the Maremma region, in south-west coastal Tuscany. Wines are bottled under the Maremma Toscana DOC and the Morellino di Scansano DOCG.

Owner: Karl Egger. From Bavaria, Germany. He had an electronics company, sold it, and the new owners paid him to stay out of electronics. ‘I love to eat, I wanted to become a “gentleman farmer” with my own cows,’ he told me (Visit 9 March 2005).

History: 1991-1995: Business transformation. LaSelva built its own in-house laboratory for the processing of fruit and vegetable. The fruits of the earth started to be directly processed on the farm, combining modern techniques and careful and detailed manual work. In 1995, the first room of the LaSelva holiday farm was rented out.

1996 – 2000: In 1996 Karl Egger took over the ownership of the “La Dispensa di Campagna” processing plant in Donoratico (LI). From then onwards, the tomatoes grown in the LaSelva fields were directly processed.

2001 – 2005: In 2003, the construction of the LaSelva Wine Cellar was completed in Poderone (Magliano) in Tuscany, allowing the company to make wine in the Morellino di Scansano area. The first web shop of LaSelva was launched in 2004.

2006 – 2010: “LaSelva di Karl Egger” and “Agricola dell’Origlio” merged together and became LaSelva società bioagricola a r.l.

2011-2015: In 2015 LaSelva celebrated 35 years of business. In November 2015, the founder of LaSelva and pioneer of organic gastronomy, Karl Egger, handed over the running of the company to the food technologist Christian Stivaletti, who had been involved, already since 2013, in the business’ management given his experience in the fields of production, environmental issues, occupational health, and quality control.

Today: Today LaSelva is spread across an area of over 800 hectares and produces a large range of food specialties and organic wines. The majority of products contain no gluten, yeast or lactose. The product portfolio includes almost 200 organic and vegan specialties and 12 wines. With its vegan products and “free from” philosophy, LaSelva stems from tradition and meets contemporary trends and demands. LaSelva’s organic food is sold worldwide.

Staff: Wine and Food: Roland Krebser (speaks English). | Admin: Danilo Nicciolini (Danilo.nocciolini@laselva-bio.eu).

Organic Certification: 1980 Organics begins when Karl arrived here. | 2019 Still certified organic.

Estate vineyards: 2005 375ha of land of which 16ha of vineyard in San Donato. When Karl Egger bought the estate different grape varieties were mixed up in the same plots, so he replanted. Some of the land is woodland.

White wines

Maremma Bianco, Vermentino2004 Nose of ripe pineapple, modern style without being a modern style; tiny bit of oak; fresh and clean, lovely (Visit 9 March 2005). ‘A mediterranean white wine,’ Karl told me.

Toscana Bianco, La Selva2012 Vermentino/Ansonica. Cool and chalky (Vinitaly 8 April 2013).

Sangiovese Bianco2012 Dusty and interesting, quite thin (Vinitaly 8 April 2013).

Red wines

Pugnitello: 100% Pugnitello. | 2012 Deep colour, spicy oak chips, ripe and sweet and with plenty of fruit (Vinitaly 2013).

Privo2012 Sangiovese and Alicante (Grenache Noir). No sulfites. Earthy, decent (Vinitaly 2013).

Ciliegiolo: Vines at 100 metres. | 2000 100% Ciliegiolo, wild berry, prune, toasty oak, sweet, hot, Aleatico/Port-like, very interesting at the winery on Wednesday morning 9 March 2005. | 2010 Nice plum fruit (Vinitaly 2013). Hand picked, fermented in stainless steel, run to barrel (Allier) for MLF and 8 months’ ageing.

Maremma Rosso DOC2003 Ciliegiolo, Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera, Merlot. Karl says it is his simplest wine; nice clean generous light southern wild fruit, very nice and easy and soft and typical (Visit 9 March 2005).

Toscana Rosso, Prima Causa: 2001 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. Nice clean berry fruit and oak, and Karl told me it is his best wine (Visit 9 March 2005). | 2010 60% Cabernet, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. £15-29.99. Clear and very intense ripe black cherry, deep yet agile and refreshing, elegant mid-palate full of red cherry/plum and cassis, harmonious and very long (Gold at DWWA 3rd May 2013).

Morellino di Scansano DOCG, La Selva2003 Very soft style, nice grip to and warm, good (Visit 9 March 2005). Sells well in Scandinavia.

Morellino di Scansano DOCG, Colli dell’Uccellina2002 85% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot. Picked from 12-20 September 2002. Small time in barrel. Bottled 26 May 2002. | 2003 13,000 bottles. Inevitably, given the hot year, more concentrated and ripe compared to the rain-affected 2002 (Visit 9 March 2005). |  2004 85% Morellino, 15% Merlot. | 2010 85% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot. £8-14.99. Pretty black plum nose, ripe and inviting, plenty going on on the palate, chewy black fruit with brightness and fluidity (Bronze at DWWA 2013).

Contact

La Selva

Loc La Selva, San Donato

I-58010 Orbetello (GR = Grosseto), Italy

Tel+39 0564.885799 | www.laselva.de or www.bioselva.it

Bibliography

Visit to the winery on Wednesday morning 09 March 2005.