The Castello di Montegiove has a rich wine-producing history and over the past decades has perfected its passion for wine making. Guided by a philosophy that combines a modern and a traditional approach, a small and expert team of workers strives to limit quantities in order to ensure maximum quality, and meticulous attention is paid to every detail both on the land and during production.
This love for the land and its products, has contributed to the creation of wines of outstanding excellence.
The estate’s vineyards are planted primarily with red grape varieties, predominantly Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Sagrantino, but also Canaiolo, Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The vineyards are situated in the DOC-area of Orvieto, an area which is renowned for white wine due to its rich volcanic soil; the classification is merely due to an administrative location as Montegiove is geologically situated on the “Tuscan nappe”, which is much richer in clay and limestone. In fact, the soils are relatively similar to those that can be found in the neighbouring province of Siena, in Southern Tuscany, and extremely suitable for the creation of red wines of superb structure and complexity.
The wine cellar of Montegiove
Grape production is documented in the County of Montegiove as early as 1292 and wine has been produced in the cellars of the castle of Montegiove for centuries as evidenced in the historical archives in the castle and, even today, the vinification, barrel ageing and bottling takes place in the cellar which was, in part, constructed prior to the 15th century. The cellars were modified in the mid 1960s to accommodate the increased grape production following an extensive plantation of vineyards up through the decade and had a total capacity exceeding 2500 hl, comprising a vast capacity for ageing wine in traditional Italian big oak casks, the so-called “botti” of varying dimensions spanning from 5000 litres to 560 litres. The cantina also had large concrete fermentation and storage vats used for “macération carbonique”, one of the earliest models available of a horizontal destemmer and a, at the time state-of-the-art, horizontal Vaslin press as well as a traditional vertical double basket hydraulic press.
Today, the production takes place in a cellar that has been restructured in 2008 and equipped with full temperature controlled fermentation vats in stainless steel and refurbished concrete vats, of various capacity allowing for the vinifcation to take place in small lots ensuring full control over the fermentation and complete separation of varieties and vineyards. In the cellar state-of-the-art peristaltic pumps are used for transfer of the destemmed and gently crushed grapes. During fermentation and maceration we make use of pump overs “rimontaggio” and “delestage” where the wine is respectfully transferred using peristaltic pumps or flexible rotor pumps and manually distributed by hose over the cap in the fermentors. The original layout of the cellar very often allows to use gravity alone for the transfer of the wine, when this is not possible the wine is gently transferred using a progressive cavity pump. On some occasions filtering of wine is performed prior to bottling and this is done using a classical plate and frame filter using 100% recyclable cellulose filter sheets.
The ageing of wine takes place in small Italian casks, locally known as “botticelle”, constructed in the north-eastern Italian region of Veneto, using Slavonian oak. The cellar also has a “barricaia” (barrel room) holding both barriques and tonneaux. These top-of-range barrels are made of oak from French state-owned forests managed by ONF (Tronçais, Bercé, Fontainebleau, Haguenau, Compiègne and Bitche) generally from sessile oak trees. The very fine-grained wood is sorted carefully and seasoned naturally, in the open air. The oak of various provenance is made into barrels by the two “tonnelerie” (barrel makers) with which we exclusively collaborate who are situated in Bordeaux and Burgundy respectively. Our wines are “Mis en bouteille au château”: as all bottling is done in the cellar on a modern mini bottling line which permits bottling: 375 ml demi and 750 ml normal bottles as well as magnums where all air has been evacuated prior to introducing the wine and sealing is done with supreme quality natural cork, guaranteeing and conserving the intrinsic quality of the wine and ensuring that it will remain so for decades to come.