Andrea Zanfei and his wife Valentina Libri are the proprietors of Cerreto Libri, which is built over ancient Etruscan ruins and has been in her family since the late 18th century. Zanfei and Libri took over Cerreto Libri from her father in the late 1990's and decided by 1997 to convert the farming to organic; their first vintage was bottled in 2000. The farm is about 10 miles east of Florence in the very smallRufina sub-zone of Chianti, a very traditional region of winemaking, with a relatively small number of producers and a unique microclimate: the clay-schist vineyard are at a higher altitude and near the intersection of 2 rivers, which leads to higher humidity and much greater day-night temperature differentials compared to much of Chianti. The climate is the most continental of all of Chianti.
Zanfei and Libri grow old strains of the typical grapes of the region--Sangiovese, with a small amount of the traditional red blending varieties Colorino and Canaiolo, plus whites Trebbiano and Malvasia--with the preponderance of bottling being Chianti Rufina, complemented by some Vin Santo, grappa and olive oil from estate trees.Today, the farming is entirely biodynamic, many of the vines are quite old, and the winemaking continues to be done with very minimal intervention.
For the Rufina red, old concrete tanks are filled 3/4-full with hand-harvested, hand-sorted and destemmed fruit, which is not crushed; the fermentation, with native yeasts only, thus starts as a semi-carbonic maceration. Maceration with the skins lasts about three weeks; aging takes place in large, old casks. Bottling does not involve fining or filtering, and sulfur is never employed at any point in vinification or aging. The wine is aged in bottled for many years before release and would more than qualify as riserva, were they to be concerned with such designations. Zanfei and Libri are old-school, modern-day winegrowers in this tiny, traditional corner of Chianti.