The Estate

History

Wine has been made at Montecalvi since the 1400s. Montecalvi was for centuries part of the Castello di Uzzano estate, at one time owned by Niccolò da Uzzano, a Florentine politician in the Medici era, and latterly owned by the Count Castelbarco.

It was farmed throughout this period according to the mezzadria system, by which local farmers cultivated the estate for, and shared the year’s harvest with, the castello.

Montecalvi became an independent estate in the 1980s and is now owned by the Drake family. We have set about upgrading and updating the vineyards, restoring the old vines (we have one of oldest vineyards in Tuscany, planted in 1932) and replanting with indigenous Italian varieties.

We are now a certified organic estate and all that we do is with an eye towards sustainable farming and making wines (and olive oil) that are the best reflection of our particular place in our particular part of Tuscany.

Vineyards and Olive Groves

Our estate is 10 hectares, with four hectares under vine (and half a hectare under olives). Our vineyards are among the finest in the Chianti Classico area, on sandstone/ clay soil at an altitude of between 250 and 280 m above sea level and with ideal south/ south-east/ south-west exposures. We farm our vineyards (and all our estate) organically and sustainably.

Montecalvi is an ICEA-certified organic winery.

For us, being certified organic not only means producing wine without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides or other artificial agents in the vineyard, but also doing everything we can to preserve the sustainability of our estate.

Montecalvi is an ICEA-certified organic winery.

For us, being certified organic not only means producing wine without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides or other artificial agents in the vineyard, but also doing everything we can to preserve the sustainability of our estate. sustainable and solidarity-based economy that goes beyond organic, moving towards an economy and lifestyles that require a responsible conversion of methods, systems and practices.

Tim Manning CEO

Our main focus is, of course, Sangiovese but we also grow a number of other indigenous Italian varities, including Ciliegolo, Canaiolo and (the very rare) Canina Nera, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. We dedicate the same amount of care to all of our varieties and all are harvested, fermented and aged separately. In this way we nurture the distinct character of each variety so that, when we finally make our blends, they become much more than the sum of their parts.

It is Montecalvi’s intimate size that lies behind the success of our wines. We know our vineyards like the back of our hand, helping us to tend to each, row by row, vine by vine, bunch by bunch. By the time harvest comes around, the grapes arriving in our cellar are the very best that the year can bring.

Our Team

The Territory

From as far back as the 7th century BC, the Etruscans and then the Romans cultivated grapes in the Chianti Classico territory. The first known documentary evidence of a wine called Chianti was in 1398 and Chianti wine has been a feature of the Tuscan wine trade since that time. On 24 September 1716, Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici issued an edict delimiting the wine region of Chianti and created the first legal appellation of origin for wine in the world. Within Chianti Classico, there are now 11 different sub-regions called “Additional Geographical Units” (or UGAs) which describe and define the unique characteristics of each region.

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Montecalvi is proud to be part of the Greve winemakers’ association, Viticoltori Greve in Chianti, which seeks to preserve the character of the territory and our wines. (Chianti Classico was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.) This is a diverse sub-region because there are patchwork soils and varying influences based on the proximity of the Greve river. As a general trait, wines from this sub-region are frequently described as having rigour and substance, with wines from the left bank showing a tendency towards darker fruit characters compared to those along the right bank of the river.

The Territory

From as far back as the 7th century BC, the Etruscans and then the Romans cultivated grapes in the Chianti Classico territory. The first known documentary evidence of a wine called Chianti was in 1398 and Chianti wine has been a feature of the Tuscan wine trade since that time.
On 24 September 1716, Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici issued an edict delimiting the wine region of Chianti (so as to include Greve, Gaiole, Castellina and Radda) and created the first legal appellation of origin for wine in the world. Chianti Classico was awarded DOC status in 1967 and DOCG status in 1984.

Within Chianti Classico, there are now 11 different sub-zones called “Additional Geographical Units” (“unità geografiche aggiuntive” or UGAs) which describe and define the unique characteristics of each.

The UGAs are: Greve, Radda, Lamole, Panzano, Gaiole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli, Castellina, San Donato in Poggio, San Casciano, and Montefioralle.

Greve in Chianti is a diverse sub-zone due to the patchwork of soils and influences based on the proximity of the Greve river. For us at Montecalvi, even within our 10ha estate we have two different soil types from two different soil formations: Macigno and Sillano. The Macigno is a hard, non-calcerous sandstone which gives our wines delicacy and agility, while the Sillano is a clayey marlstone which lends our wines greater body and richness of fruit.

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