Temple, fortress, monastery. Then a castle, a stately home, a refuge for shepherds and their flock, and finally an art workshop and a winery. From the Etruscans, one of the first organized societies, to Roman times, when the foundations of Castello Romitorio, perhaps as a prison for deserting soldiers. Going through the turbulent years of the Middle Ages, where the castle was a monastery until the XII century when they disputed Siena Y Florence, to later be fortified by its strategic position between the commercial routes.
Montalcino and the fortification complex of which Romitorio was a part, were always proud of their freedom: in 1559 when the Medici surrendered, they represented the last free municipality in Italy. It is from this moment that the first written testimonies of the Brunello date.
Recovered as a manor house and patricia villa already in the XIX century, Romitorio Castle was abandoned after the Second World War and remained uninhabited for a long time, used as a hospice for shepherds and their flock. In the 1970s it became the property of the baron Giorgio Franchetti. As he did not manage to renovate the Castle, he decided to sell the artist Sandro Chia in 1984, who made the old mansion his residence and artistic workshop. Along with the castle, Chía took over vineyards, holm oak and gerbera forests.
The objective was immediately clear: Romitorio could only shine again if, after the recovery of the Castle, its old vocation for viticulture was restored.
Castello Romitorio it is a place where time has a physical and tangible dimension. Where wine thrives in history and history speaks of a millenary passion for this place, always suitable for wine production and always disputed for its strategic importance as a trade and travel route.
The land, viticulture and oenology are committed to the rebirth of Brunello, a centenary wine, capable of expressing, here alone, the most authentic potential of Sangiovese. Sandro Chia with the support of Franco Martini - an expert from Brunello di Montalcino - Cellar Master of Castello Romitorio, they are at the forefront: they understand the importance of creating classic and representative wines, without fear of looking to the future.
Castello Romitorio inaugurated its new winery in 2005. La mansión del XIV century It was adorned with the works of Sandro Chia, designed to combine modernity with a thousand years of history and antiquity. In the same year, Sandro's son, Filippo Chia, joined the project and began a process of profound renewal of the wines and the style of winemaking, betting on the extremely elegant mono-varietal: the Sangiovese, to highlight the characteristics of the terroir.
After thirty years of work in the region, today Castello Romitorio is an internationally recognized winery, specialist in Sangiovese and Brunello di Montalcino. The Chia family's commitment moves between tradition and the search forexcellence, classicism and innovation.The most demanding challenge is to be in an extraordinary territory and to continue offering wines of qualitative consistency and territorial expressiveness.
The territory of Montalcino
The selection of the fruit and the work in the cellar
The city of Montalcino is about 70 kilometers south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is queen here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.
The vineyards of Romitorioabandoned for decades, they were replanted with courage and foresight by Sandro Chia in the second half of the 1980s. The landscape of the Romitorio, in which few would have bet, represented an absolutely wild area of Montalcino, and was characterized by a microclimate with less sunny slopes and on average more rigid temperatures than the rest of the denomination. Located in the northwest quadrant of Montalcinese, the Romitorio vineyards rise around the Castle, in a mountainous system that, descending from Monte Amiata towards Siena, runs parallel to the slopes of Montalcino. They are small plots immersed in hectares of virgin forests, interspersed with ponds and streams with crystal clear waters. An absolutely uncontaminated environment, characterized by galestro, clay and alberese soils, from which fossils and shells emerge, evidence of an ancient coastal backdrop. The wines produced here are fresh and fruity, incredibly fragrant, of moderate alcohol content and unmatched finesse, with a salty note and a dynamic, vibrant character.
Integrity and selection guide the work in the Castello Romitorio vineyard. Integrity towards sustainable choices that respect the biodiversity of a unique landscape in the world and guarantee the continuity of production for future generations. Selection because the quality is made in the vineyard through careful thinning, classification of the best bunches and punctuality of interventions. Only by selecting times and forms can the perfection of a fruit be obtained that, in the winery, will continue its path towards excellent wines.
Working in the winery means enhancing the potential of the landscape, expressing the characteristics already present in nature and improving the diversity of the terroirs, supporting the natural predisposition of the initial grape variety. It means connecting material and spirit, preserving its purity and quality, intensifying its expression, with lightness.
Castello Romitorio uses a delicate combination of large barrels and French oak for its wines. Long and patient aging in which the wood is never the protagonist, but a supporting role in the evolution of the wine. The refinement in the barrel is followed by the necessary rest in the bottle, which far exceeds the times dictated by the specification.
Filo di Seta Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Filo di Seta It is a unique Brunello that is the result of a rigorous selection of grapes harvested by hand in our vineyard near Castello Romitorio. It is a Brunello di Montalcino that seeks to express the most wild and dark the cooler microclimate in the northwest of the area. Filo di Seta, which translates to Silk Thread, is the name of a stream that flows through the nearby forest. The strains are located at an altitude of approximately 350 meters, with exposure to the northwest, and are carefully cared for to ensure that each plant produces the lowest yields and reaches optimum maturity. Manual selection is carried out in the winery before and after destemming. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with a short initial cold maceration period (below 20 ° C) on the skins for about 15-20 hours. This is followed by up to 20 days of maceration at a higher controlled temperature. The malolactic fermentation that occurs naturally lasts about 10 days, before the wine rests to separate the lees. The wine matures in barrels for approximately 30 months, and once bottled, the wine is aged in the temperature-controlled cellars of Castello Romitorio for approximately 12 months before its launch.
«What a nose: dark peony petals mix with violet and scented notes of fresh and dried cherry. These aromas travel directly to the brain with an elevated note of polished wood. The same aromatic charm is immediately evident on the palate: cherry and fragrant petals envelop and cushion the fine but absolutely taut tannins. A very serious wine that poses a beautiful counterpoint of balanced structure and fluid elegance, almost wavy; Severe and forgiving at the same time. Every nuance of aroma is illuminated by the electrical acidity of Sangiovese. Even in age, when the earthiest and most salty notes come to the fore, the silky floral charm captures the palate, mind and heart in one go. "
– Anne Krebiehl MW –
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
The Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino is our flagship wine and reflects more than 30 years work in harmony with nature within the terroir of Montalcino. It is a wine that expresses the territory of Montalcino with purity and embodies the best aspects of the area's long tradition of cultivating world-class Sangiovese. The Romitorio estate has vineyards in the Northwest area of Montalcino. Our classic Brunello is made from Sangiovese grapes carefully picked and hand-selected at the sorting table, both before and after de-stemming. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with a short initial cold maceration period (below 20 ° C) on the skins for about 15-20 hours. This is followed by up to 20 days of maceration at a higher controlled temperature. The malolactic fermentation that occurs naturally lasts about 10 days, before the wine rests to separate the lees. The wine matures in barrels for approximately 24 months and, once bottled, the wine is aged in the temperature-controlled cellars of Castello Romitorio for approximately 12 more months before its launch.
»There is something magical and invigorating about this wine: a tall oak and fruit nose with hints of cherry, violets and pomegranate. There are also hints of earth and, with aging, hints of sage and soy. The tannins are deeply intertwined in the body, firm but fine, and give this wine an exceptional structure, a skeleton from which the fruit, oak and perfumes can fully express themselves. The wine unfolds slowly in the glass, becomes more sinuous and sensual in contact with the air, the light astringent of the tannins invites other sips. The refinement in the bottle brings tertiary notes of skin and herbs, the persistence and aroma are long-lasting. This wine leaves its mark on the market, but becomes even more true to itself as it ages. «
─ Anne Krebiehl MW─
Rosso di Montalcino DOC
A bright and expressive red wine Produced in Montalcino from the youngest Sangiovese vineyards on the estate. The result is a classic tuscan red possessing all the grace and power associated with youth. Montalcino is an area especially suitable for the production of fine wines, and Rosso di Montalcino was recognized as an appellation of origin in 1983, which gave the opportunity to produce two appellations of origin from the same vineyards for the first time in Italy; Brunello, destined for a long aging, and the Rosso di Montalcino, more fresh and lively. It can only be made with Sangiovese grapes and it can only be marketed from the beginning of September of the year following the harvest. Like Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino is an excellent expression of Montalcino's tradition and terroir.
«Clear, translucent garnet color. Appetizing nose so typical of Sangiovese: the acid aroma of the Marasca cherry. With increasing age in the bottle, this cherry goes from being fresh and crisp to soft and dry, in young wines the fruit is pristine, varying in intensity with each harvest. The body is vigorous and dry: not an embellished and appeased Sangiovese, but a wine as rugged as the earth. It has a fine and bright acidity and a pleasant tannic grip. This has impact but is not heavy. A little bit of age sits wonderfully in this charming rustic: aging in the bottle will give you aromas of leather, wild thyme, and polished wood. "
- Anne Krebiehl MW -
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG
Chianti Colli Senesi it is an illustrious example of the classic Tuscan winemaking tradition. Is a Sangiovese of character distinctive, which expresses the elegance of the grapes grown in the hills around Siena. Since ancient times, this area has been known as capable of producing red wines from very high quality with an elegance close to that of Burgundy. The rolling Colli Senesi (Siena Hills) are characterized by rivers and thick oak forests, and are a mosaic of small medieval towns, fields, vineyards and olive groves. The Chianti Colli Senesi appellation covers a vast area of cool climate in southern Tuscany, which has remained surprisingly pristine for centuries.
Smelling this transports you to the ocher Tuscan countryside: the scent of the sun-dried earth and oak forest is there with the note of Marasca cherry characteristically spicy from Sangiovese. The body has tension Y shape without being heavy, there is freshness and bite: this was made for the table. This is omnipresent and honest, it has impact and agility. The fruit, currant, blueberry and Morello cherry, sings with purity in the end. This has charm and character galore. "
- Anne Krebiehl MW -
Romitòro is an elegant mix of Syrah Y Petit Verdot which expresses the benefits of a moderate climate like that of Tuscany, where the vines grow naturally without the need for irrigation and produce an excellent quantity and quality of fruit. The resulting wine is a Super Tuscan bold that testifies to the fact that French varieties can thrive in Tuscany and give exceptional quality, while retaining an undeniably Tuscan character. This wine is aged for approximately 12 months in barrel and unfiltered.
“The fruit is the most important thing: the Marasca cherry meets the ripe plum in a brave and full-bodied package. In the mouth there is a lot of fruit, freshness and a lot of body: the tannins are daring but counteracted by so much fruit that they reach an almost mochavanilla sweetness and are soft on the dense and full body. The finish is warm and round, a whiff of large fruity exuberance that maintains its mojo for many years.
- Anne Krebiehl MW -
"To make great wine you need a madman to cultivate the vines, a wise man to take care of them, a lucid poet to create wine, a lover to drink it." - Salvador Dali -
“Art and the vineyard live on valuations, sometimes minimal, other… imperceptible. It is our task: to improve these details, to make them absolute. " - Sandro Chia -
"Working in the vineyard is like working on yourself: you always start from what is there, from what exists, not to change it, but to improve its uniqueness, its place in the world" - Sandro Chia -
Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte
Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte is a leading property in Scansano located within the coastal region of the Maremma from Tuscany. Founded by the sculptor Sandro Chia, is now run by his son Filippo Chia. The estate currently produces two wines, Ghiaccio Forte, Morellino di Scansano DOCG and Ripaforte, Toscana IGT. The farm also produces Syrah and Petit Verdot destined for the production of RomiToro from Castello Romitorio.
The vineyards are owned by the winery and are located at the top of Aquilaia and along the banks of the Albegna River in southern Scansano. Sowing was done in two phases from 1999-2001 using local Sangiovese clones. The same happened with Petit Verdot and Syrah, and a small part of Cabernet Sauvignon. The second plantation was made in 2006 with Petit Verdot and Syrah and new clones of Sangiovese. The farm currently has 12 hectares ofMorellino di Scansanoand almost 20 hectares of total vineyard. It is located adjacent to the remains of the Etruscan fortified city of Ghiaccio Forte, a national park, from which the winery takes its name.
The name Ghiaccio Forte translates as "Fort Ice". This area was populated since at least 500 BC and was once home to a flourishing Etruscan city whose remains are less than a kilometer from the winery.
Tenuta Ghiacco Forte
Morellino di Scansano DOCG
Ghiaccio Forte Morellino di Scansano DOCG was first released with the 2006 vintage. Originally produced as a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Syrah, from the 2018 vintage onwards the Syrah was removed from the mix. The name derives from an ancient fortified Etruscan settlement five minutes from the winery and translates as "ice fort." This area has been dedicated to wine production for millennia and Ghiaccio Forte strives to embody the best traditions of the past as well as the future of Morellino di Scansano. The grapes are harvested by hand at the optimum point of maturity, followed by careful selection and destemming. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with about two weeks of contact with the skin. The resulting wine is powerful but silky, translucent in color and has the distinctive features of a large Sangiovese from Scansano. Combining freshness Y structure with a remarkable maritime influence, elegant cherry and a salty element They give a perfect balance between earthy and ripe red fruits.
Tenuta Ghiacco Forte
Ripaforte Toscana IGT Rosso is the latest release from Estate and represents the pinnacle of production at Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte. A unique blend of Petit Verdot (98%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2%), Ripaforte is produced from a small vineyard located on top of a hill above the Albegna river valley in southern Scansano. The rolling hills of this region allow a great degree of exposure to sunlight, while the proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea ensures a mild microclimate. It highlights the daytime temperature range and helps the grape reach optimum maturity. Planted in 1999, the Ripaforte vineyard was chosen for its unique position 200 meters above sea level, offering protection from the north and excellent exposure to the south, and dense gravel soils with clay and silt from marine deposits dating back to the Pliocene. Petit Verdot vines have exceptional foliar coverage and flower early, allowing for a long window of perfect ripening. The low yields and the careful selection, followed by the aging in small French oak barrels, result in a wine with powerful, concentrated aromas and depth. Wine is expressed with dark chocolate and cherry jam, with elements acid minerals and flints that carry the wine forward. Notes of sage, incense and lilac combine into a red wine noble, structured and refined coastal area.