In a land of ancient civilizations – full of art and history, that the landscape characterizes with oaks, chestnut trees, olive trees, pines, vineyards, among hills dotted with cypresses – in Florence in 1290, three Ridolfi Montalcino families stem from an ancient Tuscan lineage. One of these – the Ridolfi of Borgo – originated the Sienese branch called “dalla Contrada”, where it had its own estates.
For centuries, priors, gonfaloniers and illustrious celebrities distinguished themselves under its aegis. Nowadays that very coat of arms shines on the labels of a great winery. Two estates – Ridolfi in Montalcino and Tenuta Rocchetto in Larciano – over 54 hectares of land, 21 of which are cultivated vineyards.
And persistent research for excellence, heritage of a noble Tuscan taste that has been handed on unaltered through history.
The Estate is situated in the locality of “Mercatali”, which during the 5th and 6th centuries marked the hub of a large annual market. Indeed, a three-floor section made of stone and tuff that dates back to that era is still preserved in one of the farmhouses.
It rises on the slope of a hill in the very heart of Tuscany, 300 metres above sea level near the famous “Brunello Road”. It comprises 30 hectares of land, 11.4 of which dedicated to Brunello vines, 6.5 hectares to Chianti Colli Senesi and 1 hectare to Rosso di Montalcino, plus 700 olive trees of the Correggiolo variety.
All the Ridolfi vineyards are on the North-East slope of Montalcino hill. The clones used are mainly suited for long ageing. Vines that are more than 15 years of age are trained with the spurred cordon system using the two bud pruning with four spurs technique. Vines planted after 2013 are trained using the simple Guyot technique. The bunches are thinned three times throughout the season: during the setting phase, the veraison phase and at the end of the ripening phase. The grapes obtained from the last thinning are used to produce Rosé Brut.
The estate lays in the centre of Tuscany – at an altitude ranging between 60 and 200 metres – in the territory of the Chianti D.O.C.G. wine, “the most classic of Italian classics” and it stretches out on 22 hectares of agricultural land of which 5 are vineyards and 11 are olive groves.
Right from ancient times, these areas have seen the development of vineyards that have yielded excellent results thanks to the particular morphology of the territory.
A vocation that the enterprise has well expressed by extolling the typicality of these plants through special care of the vineyard and the choice of fractioned harvestings for every single parcel, estimating the typology of the soil, the exposure and the degree of maturation.
In 2014 the Ridolfi wine cellar was completely renovated and extended while respecting the original configuration of the village of Mercatale.
All the grapes are picked by hand and selected firstly in the vineyard and then in the cellar on a roller table after being destemmed. The berries are not pressed but fermented whole in controlled temperature stainless steel tanks that never exceed 27°C. Only native yeasts are used.
The high quality of the grapes allows a very long maceration period: at least 60 days. The aim is to gently extract the colour and polyphenols, using only pumping over and delestage operations (around four times for each tank, spread out over 24 hours). Malolactic fermentation is carried out in steel tanks.
Ridolfi is fully organic from 2014, in the vineyards and in winery.
Deep ties to the environment lead us to eliminate the utilization of both mineral fertilizers produced by chemical synthesis and of chemical pesticides and to cultivate the vineyards by means of close daily control and attention.
The soil is worked using the residues of the fermentation of the grapes, green manure, and the cover crop is a mixture of various sown seeds.
These operations, by increasing the fertility of the soil, give it an additional vitality, and allow the plants to grow in a healthy way.
Protection of the vines is carried out by aiming at preventive action and the stimulation the natural defenses of the plants.
We spray with low doses of sulfur and copper supplemented by various plant and seaweed extracts, and utilize “sexual confusion” methods to control the insect population in the vineyards.
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