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I'll Drink to That!: Episode 223 - Elisabetta Fagiuoli
The American Mag: Fossil "Fuel"
Down to Earth Wines: Chianti's Heart of Gold - Muratori, Montenidoli and Vernaccia
Vinography: Montenidoli, San Gimignano, Tuscany
Montenidoli or "the mountain of the little nests" is 24 hectares of vineyards surrounded by 200 hectares of woodlands. The Etruscans were the first to discover this treasure and plant vines, then came the Romans and the Knights Templar. Sergio Muratori (passed away in October, 2012) and Elisabetta Fagiuoli arrived in 1965, heirs to a long farming tradition.
When Sergio and Elisabetta arrived at Montenidoli, the land had been abandoned with vines overgrown by brambles and olive trees gone wild. Without ever flaunting it, Sergio was the pillar who gave new life to Montenidoli. With his love and his hard work, he reawakened the abandoned fields, the vines, and olive trees. He chose to remain in the shadows, leaving Elisabetta the task of bringing Montenidoli's wines to the world. He was the great oak, giving warmth, strength and courage to all those who have worked, work and will work for Montenidoli.
Elisabetta has the land in her blood. Her family had cultivated vines and olive trees in Custozza, not far from Verona, since the 1700s. Following her family traditions, Elisabetta chose to respect the land, cultivating it with exclusively organic methods. Sulfur and copper are the only substances used to fight parasites and only if absolutely necessary. Her vineyards are certified organic by ICEA (International Accreditation Certification Service).
The vineyards are planted to indigenous varietals: Vernaccia (San Gimignano's historic white grape), Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano Gentile and Malvasia Bianca. Quaternary lands, on the slopes where the calcareous sediments left by the Ligurian Sea, enhance and enrich the bouquets of the white wines. Triassic lands above, the oldest in Tuscany and the only Triassic planted to vine, are a precious source of minerals for the red wines.
Wine Spectator 12/2019 by Bruce Sanderson
"The wines of Montenidoli are in a class by themselves. Though three of the bottlings technically fall under the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, they are stylistically unlike any others in the denomination and stand head and shoulders above the rest...They remind me of other wines uniquely tied to place and the vision of the winemaker. Cappellano, Soldera's Case Basse, Valentini and Emidio Pepe come to mind from Italy; Henri Bonneau and Domaine Leroy in France..."The best Vernaccia di San Gimignano wines are clean and correct, with varying degrees of depth and complexity. The Montenidoli wines, however, have diferent textures and flavor profiles, sometimes imperfections, but always plenty of soul."