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Right in the heart of Italy’s most famous and productive wine region, Follonico is a boutique farmhouse that sits in perfect harmony to the rhythms of Italian rural life.
While soaking up the pleasure of the slow-life you might want to check out these local wineries, as recommended by Fabio Firli, co-owner of Follonico.
Wine is a family affair in Italy and none more so than at Talosa, situated in the ancient town of Montepulciano, where three generations of Jacorossi family have poured passion and dedication into the Italian enology of Talosa.
Tradition and innovation swirl around this respected, award-winning winery that was created by entrepreneur Angelo Jacorossi, who insists on an exclusive hand-picked harvest. To find out more about this heritage brand, visit the store in Montepulciano and be sure to book a visit to see the historic cellar. Located underneath two of the oldest buildings in the city - Palazzo Tarugi and Palazzo Sinatti, the vaulted, atmospheric cellar dates back to the 16th century and inside niches vast oak barrels sit in which the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is aged for two years.
Vineyards, olive groves, forests, beehives and clay formations work in harmony together at this ecological winery in the hamlet of Montalcino near Siena in Tuscany, where each ecosystem is tended to with the same careful philosophy of synergy.
Warmly welcoming visitors, Podere Le Ripi makes the visiting experience enjoyable and inclusive. Describing wine-making as ‘thinking like a true farmer’, guests are encouraged to view the organic garden as a place of observation where biodynamic practices are trialled before reaching the vines. You can eat pick and eat organic fruit and vegetables. On a tour you’ll also see the farm, vineyards and ‘golden cellar’ wine cellar, a circular building created using ancient construction techniques and natural materials such as clay and lime mortar. Finish up in the tasting room to sample the fruits of the terroir – smooth, aged Brunello di Montalcino.
Located on the lush slopes of Castelnuovo dell’Abate and overlooking the ancient volcano of Mount Amiata, Uccelliera is made up of a Tuscan farm, centuries-old olive groves and a small vineyard. Owned by Andrea Cortonesi since 1986, the vineyard is now known as the producer of some of Italy’s fine Brunello, made from 100% sangiovese selected from Montalcino.
The son a farmer, Andrea’s careful attention to detail and agricultural background helped to bring the vines into the good shape they are today, including paying heed to the direction of the vines, regular thinning of the branches and sustainable agriculture practices. Andrea’s method is also imbued with eco-practice, he sees himself as the custodian of the land – to take it into the next stage. In his own words, beautifully put, he says ‘I want my labour to enrich this heritage, and I shall be able to say that I have preserved it as a living thing for the future.’
Located in Siena’s Podere Sedime, which translates from Latin as `place where everything stops, falls silent and rests`, Capitoni Marco is a small, peaceful and picturesque vineyard of six hectares, the majority of which are sangiovese grapes with a few merlots in between.
Run by a family who refer to themselves as ‘agriculturists for generations’, it’s clear that the owning family have put heart and soul into the attention of the fields, vineyards and production of wine. Tastings here are considered to be convivial affairs where the to-and-fro of conversation is encouraged and appreciated – it feels like the Capitoni take on board feedback from the people who buy their wine. Taking wine tapped directly from the barrels from ‘old vintages’ mean that tasters have an intimate experience between wine-maker and wine-buyer – and the chance to appreciate the unique aged quality of the sangiovese grape.