Tenuta Valdipiatta | Organic estate vineyard and winery in the Montepulciano region of Tuscany. Valdipiatta’s main wines are Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOC, and Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC.
Background | Valdipiatta was founded in 1973. In the mid-1980s Giulio Caporali bought the estate. Caporali translated (from Latin) the charter of the town of Montepulciano, a manuscript dating from 1337 AD. He subsequently published an essay on the Etruscan origins of the name of Montepulciano. In 2002, he turned over management of the estate and winery to his daughter Miriam Caporali. Miriam started to work with her father from 1997. She graduated in Business Administration from the University of Rome, and then took an advanced class in wine tasting and winemaking in Bordeaux. Her first full vintage here as winemaker was 1999. Asked what she learnt in Bordeaux Myriam told me that ‘to make smooth-tasting wines with unique and interesting flavours can only be made with environmentally respectful grape-growing and sensitive winemaking.’
Staff: Consultant: Eric Boissenot since 2010 (following on from Prof. Yves Glories of Bordeaux University).
Vineyards: 2018 22ha of vines of which 8.9ha of Vino Nobile, 6.8ha of Rosso di Montepulciano and 0.2ha of Vin Santo. 80% Sangiovese (‘Prugnolo Gentile’) plus Canaiolo and Mammolo. Annual production: 100,000-120,000 bottles. The vineyards were replanted in the 1990s, with the exception of two crus named Sanguineto and Vigna d’Alfiero (2,000 vines per ha) which date back to the 1970s. The vines are located in the following zones: Argiano, Banditella, Bossona, Località La Ciarliana, Sanguineto and Valdipiatta zones of Montepulciano. The vineyards are primarily east facing. Soils here are mainly clay and sand, with pockets of pebbles and fossils.
Terroir: Miriam describes the terroir in Montepulciano as ‘quite homogeneous. All the vineyards in Montepulciano are very concentrated around the hill of Montepulciano. The composition of the soil is a mix of tufa and very old sand and clay. The difference between the areas is the proportion of the two components. In our property, Valdipiatta in particular, we have mostly sandy soil vineyards in the deepest part, around 300 meters above sea level and on top there is a high composition of clay, but the clay is always underground. The secret of the elegance of the wines in Montepulciano is that the combination of the sand and clay allows the water to be drained through the sand, which is usually on top. At the same time, the clay keeps the water and the ground as a sponge. Then when you have an old vineyard, like ours, a 50-year-old vineyard, the roots can always find the water in the ground. Also in very hot vintages, it [the vine] can be irrigated [meaning can find enough rain water in the soil] and keep the freshness and the acidity for future grapes.’
Certification: 2018 First vintage with full organic certification (Marchio Communitario BIO).
Winery: Plain-looking cellar for fermentation. The aging cellars (large oak casks) are tucked into the hillside, and with a tasting room.
Winemaking: Grapes are tasted before picking. Then chemical analysis of the grapes is made, not just sugar and acidity analysis, but 12 to 13 other parameters are measured. Myriam says that under her father Giulio ‘the wines were a little bit more austere, a little bit harder. The tannins were more present at the very beginning and the wines needed to be stored a little bit longer before drinking. Today I am doing things a bit differently. I’m trying to produce wines that are pleasant, smooth, and approachable earlier, but with a good potential for ageing.’
Nibbiano: Trebbiano Toscano, Grechetto and Malvasia.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Tosca: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo Nero.
Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Tenuta Valdipiatta: 2010 Vat sample: OK, light fluid style in keeping with the year (Anteprima 2014). | 2014 13%. L15160 Rather nice, very clear bright fruit, bouncy and easy to drink with a nice structure (Viale Piave 32 in Nov 2016).
Toscana Rosso, Trefonti: 40% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Canaiolo. | 1998 Bottled.
Toscana Rosso, Trincerone: 1999 Bottled. | 2000 60% Canaiolo, 40% Merlot.
Toscana Rosso, Pinot Nero: 100% Pinot Noir. 0.5ha. Planted 2000 on a cooler site. | 2013 1,000 bottles. | 2016 13.5% Slightly faded fruit on the nose, but soft and easy-fruited on the palate (Anteprima 2019).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Valdipiatta (‘Blue label’): 2006 Soft chocolatey in Viale Piave 32 on 7 Nov 2012 with Julie and Louise Harrison. | 2010 85% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo. Very dry on the palate, pinched and bretty (second bottle too) at DWWA 1st May 2013. | 2015 30-55 year old vines. Oak yet to settle down, but bright, forceful and smooth red fruit beneath (Anteprima 2018). | 2016 14%. Nice wild, easy-smooth plum fruit, fluid but with underlying texture (Anteprima 2019). Bright, floral (Anteprima 2020). | 2017 40,000 bottles. Difficult start with risk of frost in April.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Vigna d’Alfiero: 2015 15.5% alc. Starting to open out, savoury fruit, early days (Anteprima 2018). Nice tannin, warm, deep, but not heavy (Anteprima 2019). | 2016 Could have been labelled as a Riserva. | 2017 Unstressed vines in 2017, Myriam told me (Anteprima 2020).
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva: 1990 Bottled. | 1995 Bottled. | 1997 Bottled. | 1998 Bottled.
Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC: Trebbiano Toscano, Grechetto and Malvasia.
Extra Virgin Olive oil pressed from four different varieties of olive trees. | Grappa. | Agritourism
Tenuta di Valdipiatta
Via della Ciarliana, 25/A
I-53040 Montepulciano (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0578.757930 | www.valdipiatta.it