Riecine takes its place among the finest vineyards in all of Italy and continues to progress as a classic winery. The founder of Riecine, John Dunkley, an Englishman who became one of the most admired producers of Chianti Classico, and his Italian wife, Palmina, acquired the original 1.5 hectares of land in 1971 from the nearby Badia a Coltibuono. They restored the old stone villa on the land and began reviving and replanting vines. first vintage of Chianti Classico, 1973, was released in 1975 to a flourish of praise.
A close friend of John and Palmina, Carlo Ferrini, played an important role in the birth and growth of Riecine wines, giving his enological advices to Riecine until 1997. John Dunkley was respected as one of Chianti’s most astute interpreter. He always maintained that Cabernet varieties permitted under DOCG rules for Chianti Classico had no place in the vineyards of Riecine. As he once put it: “When Baron Philippe de Rothschild plants Sangiovese, I’ll switch to Cabernet Sauvignon.”
In 1996 Gary and Marlene Baumann, an American couple who now call Italy home have taken over the winery and to date are the proprietors of Riecine estates. Although some things have changed since Dunkley and his wife time, the 100% Sangiovese-based Chianti Classico remains the core of Riecine’s production.
Riecine’s wine goals are simple: to produce the finest Sangiovese-based wines in the world. As a result, vines are carefully tended by hand and all farming techniques are 100% organic with some biodynamic processes readily introduced. The farm follows organic growing principles and sprays are kept to an absolute minimum–no herbicides or insecticides are used. All the vineyards are left with grass growing in the rows to reduce erosion and bring the soil and ecosystem back as close to the natural state as possible
The main property located in Gaiole, consists of close to 30 hectares (about 75 acres) of vineyard, olive groves, woodlands, and the winemaking facility. This is where the original vineyard that has been producing Riecine grapes for more than thirty years is located. In quality vintages, Riecine also produces Chianti Classico Reserva and the Super-Tuscan wine, La Gioia. The wines are matured separately in their vineyard lots for up to 2 years for the Chianti Classico Riserva and La Gioia and 12-18 months for the Chianti Classico.
Riecine estates is proud of there traditions and are dedicated to maintaining them. Over the past several years, Riecine wines have advanced in quality to the highest levels and are enjoyed today by wine lovers in all corners of the world.
Reicine’s wine making
Riecine is a rare example of what can be achieved through handcrafted, artisan individual care and attention. In house Riecine’s Winemaker and General Manager from 2015 is Alessandro Campatelli that leads the entire winemaking process with the precious help of the historical Riecine team. The grapes are destalked into shallow bins and then all softly crushed before being dropped into either cement, stainless steel, oak or open topped bins. The fermentation is carefully controlled by Alessandro to ensure proper temperature and perfect extraction of soft tannins, colour and flavour.
Once in the tanks they run off a “salasso” of about 10-20% of the juice. This process increases the ratio of skins to juice in the remaining must. In this way there is more concentration in the finished wines. All the wines are fermented with their own natural yeasts and therefore start off very slowly. This adds character but also has the bonus of causing a cold maceration that lasts normally 3 to 4 days.
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