The AVG designation…we write as we bottle

As this newsletter lands in your inbox, we’re bottling a new/old wine that we’re excited to share with you. We invite you to cheerfully welcome all acronyms (welcome to the world of wine and welcome to Italy). The wine in question has the designation AVG or Alta Valle della Greve, is an IGT and thus represents its geographical origin. In Tuscany alone there are 58 protected quality designations, including 41 DOC, 11 DOCG and only 6 IGT.

All these classifications are approved by a specific decree of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and in Tuscany there are very few area-specific IGTs. The Upper Greve Valley joins the Tuscan Coast, the Central Tuscan Hills, and the Val di Magra, for example. Why was the Greve Plateau chosen for this designation?

It is a matter of territory. This is an area that lies just south of the Apennines, with east-facing slopes and some south-facing exposures on the ridges of the Greve-Pesa watershed. Soils are typically arenaceous with abundant clay deposits, often described as chaotic. Soil composition is very different in the continuous belt from Mercatale Val di Pesa to Greve in Chianti, where sandy soils are richer in gravel and pebbles. The Upper Valley is unique for its layering of marly limestone and complex clay, which finds expression in the wines.

Montecalvi has produced an AVG in the past (the last vintage was 1996) and we decided it was only right to reintroduce this appellation now to celebrate our specific terroir. Our new interpretation of AVG is an equal parts blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first release will be of the classic 2016 vintage of which we produced only 2,000 bottles. We offer our wine club members a 15% discount for orders placed until the end of June 2022.