When it comes to Italian wine, I often have to remind myself to keep it simple and start with what I’m tasting. The obscure, indigenous varieties can become overwhelming. The proud and esoteric pedigrees, intimidating. I sometimes feel excluded from the arcane experience. Especially when the property history boasts ties to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and the Midici family, as is the case with Fattoria de Sammontana, a small, family-owned winery located on the gentle slopes of Montelupo Fiorentino, just 15 miles south of Florence.
Focus on what’s in the glass, I remind myself. The nose is floral and nutty with just a hint of oxidation. A broad, leesy mouth leads to salty, grainy texture. It’s long and dry with lemon-lime saliency. I’m surprised to hear that sauvignon blanc is the main variety, blended with the native trebbiano and malvasia. So, now that we have that covered – who are these people?
Perhaps the property has ties that date back several centuries. However, the current operation is more accessible. Simply put, they’re farmers. Purchased by a Polish nobleman in 1867, the family is in its fourth generation of production. They run the farm according to organic and biodynamic criteria. About 3,000 olive trees are co-planted in the 13 hectares of vineyards. The alluvial soil, full of stones and pebbles, is ungrateful. Legumes are sowed between the rows of vines, enriching the earth with natural fertilizers. Not so threatening, right?
Get to know Prunecchio by Fattoria di Sammontana from the ground up. Perhaps you'll tap into some ethereal pedigree. Certainly you'll taste great wine.