Friday, March 27, 2020

Wine of the Week - Podere il Castellaccio 'Valente' Toscano Rosso

Podere il Castellaccio was born of passion. Owner Alessandro Scappini grew up in the area of Bolgheri, Italy before it was a land of Super Tuscans. His grandfather made wine and Alessandro’s current project is meant to hearken back to the days when local grapes were used and wine spoke of the land. Instead of the ubiquitous Bordeaux varieties many growers have planted since the 1970s, Alessandro sticks to the indigenous grapes that have always grown here – Sangiovese, Pugnitello, Foglia Tonda, and Ciliegiolo.

As Alessandro explains: “I love wine. The business side isn’t as important. I make wine because it reminds me of my childhood, my grandfather. I decided to work with grapes that are indigenous to the region because it’s all part of the tradition of this terroir.”

The winery will be organically certified soon, but the practices of natural techniques go back far further than the three years required for certification: “Though we are waiting for organic certification, we have always practiced organically. It’s all part of the traditional way we do things. The soil is tilled using horses since there have been horses on this farm since before I was a child. The wines are minimally processed and see little new oak because that’s the way my grandfather did it. I do everything to preserve the integrity of these ancient varieties.”

Alessandro belives his wine is special because of its terroir: “There are many micro-terroirs in Italy. When people come to this area, they always want to find wines that can only be made here, something that represents the history of the area. Podere il Castellaccio represents the local, the terroir. It is the real Bolgheri.”


In local dialect, the name Valénte represents something of of worth that is also a good value. When Alessandro’s Granfather is speaking about something good, he used to say “That’s Valénte.” The wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Pugnitello, Foglia Tonda, and Ciliegiolo and shows Elegant, spicy notes with hints of morello cherry and blackcurrant, balsamic vinegar, vanilla, and Mediterranean pine resins.

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