- Tuscany, Italy
Thank you to importer Louis/Dressner for this producer profile:
Founded by twin sisters Margherita and Francesca Padovani in 1997, Fonterenza is a biodynamically farmed estate spread over the commune of Montalcino. Though the twins grew up in Milan, the farm where they currently reside has been in the family since the 1970's. Viticulture, however, does not run in the Padovani family; in fact, there were no vines whatsoever on the property until Margherita planted the first plots in 1999.
Francesca quickly joined her sister on the project, and subsequent plantings took place in 2002 and 2005 over four hectares of vines, with 3.5 hectares planted in Sangiovese and the rest in Cabernet Sauvignon (regrafted to Sangiovese in 2012). From the beginning, Margherita and Francesca agreed not to use chemicals in their vineyard practices, which quickly led to an interest in biodynamic viticulture and, a few years later, minimal intervention winemaking.
The estate now consists of three plots totaling 4.2 hectares: Vigna del Bosco (2h), Vigna della Strada (1.7h) and Vigna Alberello (0.5h). The first two were planted in 1999 and the third in 2005. While all the vineyards are gorgeous, Vigna del Bosco is particularly stunning; one must walk or drive down a long beautiful path to arrive to a hill completely surrounded by woods.
Four wines are produced from the estate. A rosé is made from the most vigorous vines of the three vineyards. The Rosso di Montalcino is sourced from Vigna del Bosco and Vigna del Strada. The newer "Alberello Rosso" comes from Vigna Alberello and distinguishes itself with soil and exposition variations along with being trained in gobelet versus guyot, resulting in much lower yields and higher concentration. Finally, the estate's Brunello comes exclusively from Vigna del Bosco, a site the sisters consider of exceptional quality akin to a cru.
A few wines made from purchased fruit and rented parcels round out the lineup. A skin contact white named "Biancospino" from Malvasia, Trebbiano and Procanico comes from a nearby parcel of old vines the sisters rent. Another macerated white called "Le Ragazze" came into production in 2018. Finally, "Pettirosso" is "inspired by our friendship with French vignerons and their culture of thirst-quenching wines, conceived to satisfy the needs of everyday drinking and convivial sharing, our idea was to make an Italian vin de soif."
Margherita and Francesca's constant and steady evolution have made Fonterenza one of the most exciting estates for us to follow in the past few years. Every vintage just keeps getting better and better.