POGGIOTONDO
Tuscany
In the north-western corner of the Chianti region, resting on the hills between the Montalbano and Arno valley, 123 acres of vines are joined by some 2,000 olive trees on the Poggiotondo estate which was founded in 1968. Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern Italian winemaking, Alberto Antonini combines a global perspective with a unique vineyard location to craft modern Tuscan wines that gain elegance and minerally complexity as they age.

"'Energy' may sound odd, or pretentious, in a tasting note but once you have tasted this wine, or almost any recent vintage of a wine made by Italian consultant Alberto Antonini... I think you will know what I mean."
Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com (2016)
  • Founded: 1968
  • Winemaker: Alberto Antonini
  • Size: 123 acres
  • Climate: Maritime with a strong Mediterranean influence; hot, dry summers, wet spring/autumn, and cold, dry winters
  • Key Varieties: Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Canaiolo, Colorino, Trebbiano, Malvasia, Ansonica, and Vermentino

Winemaking

Balance and harmony are the key drivers behind Alberto’s winemaking decisions. Crafting these wines in a modern style whilst adhering to the true regional characteristics of Chianti, he avoids any aggressive techniques which may alter the expression of the vineyards’ terroir. Native yeasts are spontaneously employed, a gravity flow system preserves the integrity of the fruit, and the use of oak and concrete for fermentation ensures the wines are made in living, breathing materials. Open top vats allow for gentle punch downs, while 500L rolling fermentation barrels used for the estate’s top wines offer a very gentle method of fermenting, protecting the wines from oxygen and preserving the integrity of the fruit character. Wines are aged on lees, with regular stirring for richness and complexity. Ultimately, these wines offer an astute winemaker’s interpretation of Chianti, emphasizing the land’s unique accent above any winemaking influence; they are a pure expression of the Poggiotondo estate.

Viticulture

The diversity of Chianti is due primarily to the dominance of one particularly sensitive grape variety, Sangiovese, being grown in an environment of highly varied soils and exposures. Driven to understand his land in all its complexity and to intimately manage each block, Alberto has undertaken extensive field research with terroir specialist Pedro Parra, including GPS mapping of the vineyards. This research uncovered a common marine-derived foundation that unites Poggiotondo’s vineyard parcels, with waves of fossilized seashells cresting through the red clay in this gently undulating land. High-density replanting was undertaken in 2002 to precisely match indigenous varieties with specific sites, nurtured through a low-impact farming philosophy which has included the use of cover crops and integrated pest management. Recently, driven by a respect for the land and its natural balance, the conversion to fully organic viticulture was initiated. This natural progression gained credence as the Antoninis witnessed their wines voicing an increasingly audible sense of place, and has since allowed them to single out parcels that represent Chianti in its most elevated, expressive form.

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