Monteverro’S GREEN SOUL / The journey began during the origin of the estate - in 2003 - in search of a sustainable balance between land and vines. Monteverro - after years of testing and experimentation - has chosen to start the process of organic certification that will end in 2019. Our strategy takes into account all of the elements that characterize a specific agricultural reality. To put into practice this cultivation philosophy, we started an important collaboration with Lydia and Claude Bourguignon - world-renowned agronomists. Their support was crucial to understanding our soils and to start an organic activity through works such as soil profile study, decreasing workmanship, and sowing seedlings. We worked on the plant itself, introducing new pruning and breeding techniques such as Guyot, this allows us to have more balanced plants.
We then decided not to use insecticides and at the same time increase the insect population areas by planting more than 1 km of hedge of the native Maremma plants within our vineyards. In order to increase biodiversity, we sow flowered meadows and placed birds and bats nests. Synthetic pesticides have been progressively eliminated to use only authorized organic farming products, succeeding - over time - to use them in a low quantity.
Super Tuscan estate Monteverro plans to significantly increase production of its top wines over the next decade.
Monteverro only planted its first vines in 2004, but the estate’s German owners, the Weber family, is keen to capitalise on the rising popularity of Italy’s so-called Super Tuscan wines.
A view of Monteverro vineyards in southern Tuscany.
‘We have 27 hectares of vines planted but we have 50 hectares of land,’ the property’s sales and marketing manager, Olympia Romba, told Decanter.com during a visit to London to show the estate’s 2011 vintage.
Monteverro, based close to the coast just outside Capalbio in southern Tuscany, currently produces 18,000 to 20,000 bottles of its namesake flagship wine. It is a blend of classic Bordeaux varietals, consisting of 40% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with Merlot and Petit Verdot making up the rest.
‘By 2020, I think we will be closer to 40,000 bottles,’ said Romba. She added that the estate could double production of its second wine, Terra di Monteverro, to 100,000 bottles over the same timescale.
Both wines have the same proportions of Bordeaux varietals, but the Monteverro wine has spent 24 months ageing in French oak barrels with 80% new oak, while Terra di Monteverro spends 20 months in the barrel, with 50% new oak.
The estate’s winemaking team, led by winemaker Matthieu Taunay, also produces around 4,000 bottles of Chardonnay annually and 10,000 bottles of a Rhone-style blend of Syrah and Grenache, named Tinata. Bordeaux wine consultant Michel Rolland advises Monteverro and visits in person three times per year, usually for two days at a time.
Romba spent 10 years working at Mahler-Besse in Bordeaux, which is part of the syndicate that owns Chateau Palmer, before joining Monteverro in 2010.
Written by Chris Mercer