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Tenuta Valdipiatta

Tenuta Valdipiatta was established in the 1960's, a rural farm with a few hectares of vines in the heart of the Montepulciano region of south-eastern Tuscany. It was acquired at the end of the 1980's by Giulio Caporali, whose love of the area and its wines led him to fulfil a dream of settling in Montepulciano and making his own. Where Montepulciano is concerned Giulio is smitten. He translated a 700 year old medieval law document about the regulation and trade of the local wine and has written history books about the region. The estate remains family owned, managed since 2002 by Giulio's daughter Miriam, who studied business in Rome and winemaking in Bordeaux. Father and daughter are both passionate about what they do and make a good team, with Giulio taking care of the agricultural side of the business and Miriam the winemaking and marketing. They are committed to biodiversity and sustainability and in 2018 achieved EU organic certification from Marchio Comunitario Bio. 23 hectares of organically farmed vineyards extend over the hills towards the Valdichiana, on clay based and rich in sand soils. 80% of the vines are dedicated to Sangiovese, known locally as Prugnolo Gentile. The red Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo and white Trebbiano, Grechetto and Malvasia complete the indigenous grapes cultivated, accompanied by the intentional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir. The emphasise on nurturing the terroir and the vines has always underpinned what they do at Valdipiatta, and at the beginning of the 1990's they began a collaboration with Professor Yves Glories, the doyen of the University of Bordeaux's oenology department and the creator of the phenolic maturity method. This was followed in 2010 with an association with Eric Boissenot, the consulting oenologist with such prestigious Châteaux as Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild and Palmer. Miriam's philosophy is to preserve the pure expression of the Montepulciano terroir, with clear, bright flavours and a savoury umami character coming through in the wines. These are aged in a mix of French oak barrique and tonneaux and Slavonian oak before release and have gained a reputation for power, purity and freshness. Valdipiatta's comprehensive range includes an easy-drinking Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, slightly richer Rosso di Montepulciano, and the richer still Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Reserva. Their flagship wine is Viga d'Alfiero, which is selected from the best Vino Nobile vines and only made in the best years; affectionately named after Alfiero Carpini, the original Cellar Master of Valdipiatta who had planted the vineyard at the end of the 1960's. Alfiero had been working at the estate for 15 years when Giulio purchased it, and he taught the Caporali family the history and secrets of each vineyard. An intriguing white wine is made using the red Sangiovese with the white Trebbiano, Grechetto and Malvasia. Then there are the Super Tuscan wines, the Bordeaux influenced fruity and spicy Trincerone, a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot blend, and the robust and vigorous Trefonti, which blends the native Sangiovese and Canaiolo Nero grapes with the international Cabernet Sauvignon. A Pinot Noir and two rich and intense Vin Santos complete Valdipiatta's impressive portfolio.