Tenuta Le Calcinaie is an organic estate winery in the San Gimignano region of Tuscany in Italy, and 1.9 miles (3km) from the town of San Gimignano itself. It produces white wines under the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG and Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva DOCG, and reds under the Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva DOCG. He also makes four IGT proprietary wines.
Owner: Simone Santini planted his first hectare of Vernaccia, in the “Vigna ai Sassi” in 1986. He had a degree in wine technology at the Siena Agrarian Institute (Istituto Agrario di Siena), and always wanted to make wine. In 1989 he planted 7,000 square meters with red grape varieties. He began making wine in 1993. The 1993 vintage of Teodoro, 100% Sangiovese was the first wine that Simone produced (only one barrique was bottled), followed by the 1995 vintage of Vernaccia di San Gimignano. From 1995 he went organic.
Terroir: The estate takes its name after the composition of the soil of this area: layers of limestone, originating from marine deposits of the Pliocene era, are found at half a metre underground. The composition of the soil – limestone layers topped by layers of clay, sand and fossil produces structured, saline and flavourful whites. The delicate skin of the Vernaccia grape is protected from the sun by the north-eastern exposure of the vineyards. Red wine grapes are grown on the higher part of the estate and the soils are skeletal and made up of brown and red clay, this enhances the power and the colour in the wines. The altitude of the vineyards is between 200 and 250 metres above sea level.
Vineyards: Santini started with 6 hectares. | 2019 12 hectares (acres) of vines (average annual production of 70,000 bottles): 6ha of Vernaccia on limestone (including new clones from Rauscedo and Consorzio della Vernaccia); 4.8ha of Sangiovese for Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG on clay; and 1.2ha of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (50% each). Cordon. Two main soil types: tufa (yellow sand) and clay (‘figgy’ Vernaccia Santini told me.) Vineyards in Località Montauto and in Località Santa Lucia, in the south south-east of the San Gimignano denomination, around 1.8 miles (3km) from the town centre. Also Vineyards in Canneta. The vineyards in Santa Maria in the neighbouring town of Colle di Val d’Elsa are used for the Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG red.
Other crops: 2019 4 hectares (acres) of woodland, and 2 hectares (acres) of olives.
Organic certification: 1995 First vintage with full organic certification. | 2019 Still certified organic.
Winery: In 2006 the new cellar was completed, it is build underground so that the temperature is kept even, where the wines can mature away from thermal changes and follow natural aging.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOC, Le Calcinaie: From sandy soil of Pliocene origin. | South and east-facing. 200-250 metres. 2004 Nice clean fresh pineapple, nice acid, well made cool fermented style, likes to pick late so get good acid and ripe fruit at Podere Casanuova on Saturday March 25th 2005 where it was on sale for €8.20 bottle. | 2012 Very elegant, well made, nice weight (2013 Anteprima). | 2017 Very vibrant, lovely acidity at the 2019 Anteprima. | 2018 100% Vernaccia. 100% Ferm in stainless steel. 50% did MLF, 50% did not. Very clear style, pristine fruit (2019 Anteprima). | 2019 50% did MLF, 50% did not. Creamy, bright green and yellow fruit (2020 Anteprima)
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva, Vigna ai Sassi: From the oldest vines which Santini planted in 1986. From sandy soil of Pliocene origin. North-east facing. Vigna Sassi is a mix of 95% San Gimignano Vernaccia and 5% Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is harvested at the end of August, pressed immediately and, after static decantation, left to ferment. After about three weeks the San Gimignano Vernaccia is harvested, separated, pressed, and left to ferment with the skins for a few hours. This freshly harvested juice is cooled, settled, and added to the Chardonnay, which at this point is at the end of its fermentation. The musts re-ferment together, growing together as their grapes grew together in the same terroir. The wine, together with the fine sediment, stays for two years in the steel vats before bottling. | 2009 Nice weight again (2013 Anteprima). | 2014 Pear-fruit texture, clean, focused, refreshing (2019 Anteprima). | 2015 90% Vernaccia (planted 1987), 10% Chardonnay (planted 1990). Fermented apart. Finish ferment together. V well made, savoury peach and bright acidity (2019 Anteprima). | 2016 Very clear and focussed. Creamy white fruit, pure and pristine with a salty undertow and a lovely aftertaste (2019 Anteprima). | 2017 Soft and vibrant (2020 Anteprima).
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG | Mainly Sangiovese, plus a little Colorino and Canaiolo.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG Riserva, Vigna Santa Maria | Vineyard leased from 1997. Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes. 18m in oak.
Gabriele, Rosso Toscano | Merlot grapes, cultivated at opposite ends of the estate. Part comes from high ground, on calcareous soil rich in clay, planted in 1999; the rest is from tufa and clay soil farther down the hill. | 2006 Debut vintage.
Ingredienti: Uva | 100% Sangiovese. No added sulfites.
Moniré | 50% each Cabernet and Sangiovese. From Santa Lucia. ‘Clave’ soil of Pliocene origin.
Teodoro, Rosso Toscano | Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon in small doses. 18 months in oak.
Tenuta Le Calcinaie
Loc. Santa Lucia 36, I-53037 San Gimignano (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 (0)577.906028 | www.tenutalecalcinaie.com