Stefano Amerighi | Stefano Amerighi is a Biodynamic producer in the Cortona DOC region of Tuscany. He grew up in the area as his parents were farmers in Farneta. Amerighi began planting Syrah in Cortona in 2000. Consultant Mauro Monicchi says Amerighi combines naturalist winegrowing with scientific knowledge. Amerighi has also bought vineyards planted with the white Pecorino grape in the Marche region.
In 2018 to protect the soil all vineyard spray treatments were applied by hand, using back sprayers (with 9ha of vines it meant 90km of walking per treatment).
Vineyard | Amerighi’s estate, called Poggiobello di Farneta, is located in a hilly area suited to wine-growing. The vines, 8.5ha of Syrah, occupy two hills with ideal south and south-east exposure, and are enclosed by a typical Tuscan unsurfaced road (“strada bianca”) to the west, an olive grove to the south, and a ridge to the east. A pre-planting soil analysis (by Dr Bruno) showed a clayey matrix with a strong presence of silt, slightly calcareous, and rich in micro-nutrients.
Syrah clones | The Syrah clones used for planting came from the Rhône valley, with advice from oenologist Dr. Federico Staderini, Dr. Vincenzo Tommasi, Adriano Zago, and Michele Tremori (vineyard).
Vine density | 7,000 vines per hectare.
Grape yields per vine | Roughly 600 grams of grape per vine.
Biodynamics | Amerighi farmed the vineyards as Biodynamic from the beginning, and learnt to make the Biodynamic horn manure 500 via the late French consultant François Bouchet. After the latter’s death in 2005, Stefano spent one year being advised by Bouchet’s son Matthieu, before switching to the late Pierre Masson. Amerighi has around 16ha of land in total, including 2ha of woodland which he acquired in 2011, to give himself a biodiverse area in which to make his Biodynamic preparations.
The three main spray preparations Amerighi uses are Prepared Horn Manure 500 + 502-507 (sprayed three times per year), Horn Silica 501 in spring, and Maria Thun’s Barrel Compost 502-505. Biodynamic compost 502-507 is spread on a rotation of one hectare per year. The main plant tea from stinging nettle is spray when necessary to alleiviate heat stress. Cover crops (legumes and cereals) are sown to produce a mulch, to keep the soil moist and cool.
Certification | Demeter Italia since 2002. Demeter as of March 2016.
Winemaking | In 2010 Stefano made wine in his own cellar for the first time.
Grape sales | Stefano has sold grapes to Castagnoli in Chianti.
Cortona Syrah DOC | 2009 10,000 bottles. The Syrah grapes–part de-stemmed, part left as whole clusters, and part foot-trodden–are moved by gravity into small concrete tanks where they ferment with no added yeast of cooling. Part of the the wine is then aged wooden casks, and part in concrete before bottling after 14 months. The wine showed very juicy/ripe black cherry fruit which was held in check by savoury tobacco notes (from the wood) at Millésime Bio 2012.
Stefano Amerighi, Via Molino Nuovo 1, I-52045 Foiano della Chiana (AR = Arezzo), Italy
Poggiobello di Farneta, I-52044 Cortona (AR = Arezzo), Italy
Tel+39 0575.648340 | www.stefanoamerighi.it