Pomino DOC is located in the hills northeast of Florence, high above the valley of the river Sieve in Tuscany, Italy. Pomino lies just to the north of the Chianti Rufina DOCG zone, but still in the commune of Rufina.
In the mid-17th-century Pomino’s wines were considered among Tuscany’s finest. Pomino became Italy’s first Chardonnay-based DOC, based on a pioneering tradition of working with French varieties since the mid-19th century. The dominant producer here is Frescobaldi (see link to Castello Pomino, below).
The Pomino zone is one of Tuscany’s oldest growing areas for the production of high-quality wines, since it was recognised and given protection in 1796 by the famous Decree of Cosimo III de’Medici, along with the areas of Chianti Classico DOCG, Carmignano DOCG, and Valdarno di Sopra DOC.
Elevation 400-650 m altitude for the reds and 600-750 m for the whites. This is ‘higher than almost any other zone in Tuscany, and something which can present problems with ripening,’ says David Gleave (1991, p25). The cool conditions here mean Sangiovese does not ripen well, and the area is best known for Pinot Noir (‘Pinot Nero’), Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc (Ian d’Agata, 2019, p.284). The highest vineyards belong (I think) to Frescobaldi’s Benefizio. Soil Rocky, well drained.
Vineyard area: 1990 Less than 100 ha. ‘It has been diminished in size somewhat since the eighteenth century,’ says Gleave (1991, p.25).
Pomino Bianco DOC: Chardonnay based. Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano and a maximum 15% other varieties can be included in the blend.
Pomino Rosso DOC: Pomino Rosso must contain Cabernet, with Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Merlot. One year of maturation including 6 months in wood. 18m in oak for the riserva. ‘The grape mix owes more to history [than to the terroir]. The Albizi family owned large estates in this area in the sixteenth century. A powerful Florentine family, they quareled with the Medici and some of them were exiled to France. When the Italian branch was on the brink of extinction in the eighteenth century, the French side of the family returned and brought with them several French grape varieties, which they duly planted in Pomino. When Vittorio degli Albizi died in 1887, the estate passed to his sister, who was married to a member of the Frescobaldi family. The French exile accounts for the fact that Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 15-25 per cent of the blend, Merlot 10-20 per cent. They are used to give weight to the Sangiovese, which makes up 60-75 per cent of the blend. The wines tend to be leafy and forward, with the Cabernet taking on a herbaceous character in some years,’ says David Gleave (1991, pp25).
Certified organic: Fattoria Selvapiana.
David Gleave MW, ‘Chianti & Nothing But’, Decanter Tuscany Supplement 1991 p.23-32.
Dr Ian d’Agata, Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs (University of California Press, 2019), p.284-286.