Fattoria Le Pupille
This is a story of aspiration and intuition. Fattoria Le Pupille [the Farmhouse of the Pupil] is located in Grosseto, in the Maremma region of southern Tuscany. The local wine there is the principally Sangiovese-based Morellino di Scansano which historically, although agreeable enough, was not highly thought of compared to other Italian wines and the land was not recognised as being of great viticultural worth. But all that was about to change. Elisabetta Geppetti had spent her childhood summers at her family’s house in the region, and she recognised the potential the area had for making good wine. She was only 20 when she inherited Fattoria Le Pupille from her father-in-law, and took over the management of the property in the mid 1980's, which at the time only consisted of barely 2 hectares of Sangiovese vines. But Elisabetta had an entrepreneurial spirit and a vision to make great wines and distinguish Le Pupille's production. She enlisted the help of the late Giacomo Tachis, one of Italy's most famous oenologists - he contributed to the creation of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia - and together they began the renaissance of Maremma. Now there are 75 hectors under vine which are all farmed organically. There are five vineyards on different sites. The 14 hectare Poggio Valente Vineyard is planted at 280 metres above sea level with Sangiovese and Merlot on stony, predominantly sandy-rich soils. The Saffredi Vineyard has 5 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah on loamy, poor calcareous soils at 250 metres. The two vineyards of San Vittorio and Vignacci make up 9 hectares, and are planted at between 200 and 250 metres with the white grape varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer and Semillon on sandy soils, rich in stones and sandstones. The vineyards in Morellino are divided into a variety of small plots, on predominantly sandy, stony sandstone soils, where Sangiovese, Malvasia Nero, Alicante and Ciliegiolo are grown. Additionally a vineyard surrounds the winery, where some experimentation is done with old Sangiovese vines. The wines of Maremma have now gained international acclaim, and this is largely down to Elisabetta. In 1982 she released the first wine under the Fattoria Le Pupille label, the Morellino Reserva 1978, to much acclaim. Then in 1987 she released the first Maremma Super Tuscan, the incredible Saffredi Maremma Toscana IGT, a Cabernet-based masterpiece, which credited her as giving a benchmark for Super Tuscan wines. This is now Le Pupille's flagship wine, and it firmly put Maremma on the map. In 2006 Morellino di Scansano was given DOCG status. Fattoria di Pupille's wines are multi-awarded and you will find them on the the wine lists of some of the best restaurants in the world. Elisabetta's daughter Clara has now joined her mother, crafting wines with elegance and purity of expression. Elisabetta, “The Lady of Morello”, is the first woman ever to be named the Director of the Morellino Consorzio. Another pioneering masterpiece, partly fermented in oak, partly in amphora and aged in barrique has been crafted, Le Pupille, created together with the renowned winemaker and consultant Luca d'Attoma – Maremma's star continues to rise!