Grower Website Castello di Ama Region: ITALY – TUSCANY

With a splendid territory, as described by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold, Governor of Tuscany, in his famous 1773 document “Relazione sul Governo della Toscana,” the Pianigiani and Ricucci families possessed two residences that were renovated from the remains of the fortress in the early 18th century. The Castello di Ama became part of the properties of the Firidolfi family after being destroyed during the Aragonese invasion of the 15th century. Ama received numerous privileges from the Holy Roman Emperors Henry VI and Otto IV, making it the recipient in the 11th century. The earliest mentions of the region’s wines can be traced back to 998 A.D. This area holds historical significance as Etruscan land.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sangiovese are considered ideal for the clay-calcareous soils and perfect southern exposure that this site has. This site is set on a rounded hilltop, 1600 feet above sea level, and it is truly spectacular. The estate comprises nearly 260 hectares, with 40 hectares planted with olives and vines, and almost 90 hectares dedicated to vine planting. The modern era of Ama di Castello began approximately 35 years ago with the replanting of the estate’s vineyard.

In 1982, Marco Pallanti, a young and promising agronomist, was given the management of the property. His goal was to identify the various micro-terroirs in the vineyard, based on the exposure and soils, and divide it into homogeneous blocks to determine the viticultural characteristics of each site. With this research project, he launched a ten-year endeavor to become one of the most respected winemakers in Tuscany.

Marco and she, the young daughter of one of the owners, Lorenza Sebasti, got married in the 1990s, and took over the management of the estate in 1988.

During the period of 1982-87, approximately 50,000 vines were re-trellised in an open lyre system, with a vineyard density of 2,800 vines per hectare. This was a significant undertaking, which also involved grafting new varieties and clones to take advantage of the vineyard’s topography and geology.

It was a long and difficult struggle. Together with Marco, they crafted new rules for the Classico Chianti region, working very hard to bring a definition with some of the finest producers in the region. Marco Pallanti, as the President of the Consorzio Classico Chianti, put in a lot of effort.

The panel on the label aims to prevent wines that do not meet the required quality level for a Chianti Classico Riserva from using the term. Under Marco’s guidance, the Consorzio reached a consensus that starting from the 2008 vintage, all wines labeled as Riserva must undergo tasting and approval by a panel at the Consorzio.

Vigneto Bellavista and Vigneto La Casuccia, their Cru wines, had the phrase “Gran Selezione” incorporated into their labels in 2011. Their flagship wine, Casello di Ama Chianti Classico, started featuring the term “Riserva” on the label from the 2008 vintage onwards. Marco was reassured that these fresh regulations would guarantee that wines from Chianti Classico adhere to quality criteria that he can take pride in, as he moved on from his role as President of the Conzorzio.

Castello di Ama, one of the most exceptional wineries in the world, stands out not only as one of Tuscany’s top wine makers, but also for its unwavering commitment to excellence in both the vineyard and winery.