The Chianti region and its excellent weather conditions help achieve high quality grapes
THE TERROIR AND CLIMATE ARE STAUNCH ALLIES IN CARE OF THE VINES
The Leonardo da Vinci Winery technicians and agronomists of work together with the partners of the cooperative every day, suggesting the right time to prune and harvest. The predominate grapes here are the Sangiovese type.
Producing quality grapes depends not only on man and his valuable work in the vineyards and cellar, but also on the climatic and territorial condition of the areas where the grapevines grow. The Chianti region is a vast production area in Tuscany divided into various sub-areas. The vineyards of the Leonardo da Vinci Winery partners are located mainly on the slopes of Montalbano, which has a microclimate influenced by the breezes that blow from the Mediterranean sea into the River Arno valley as far as the hills of Vinci. These sea breezes encourage the vegetation re-growth that starts a few weeks earlier here than in other parts of the Chianti region, thus enabling the vines to start producing better quality grapes. Also in summer, the breezes attenuate the heat, ensuring more favourable conditions for the vines. The terrain is a valuable ally in obtaining excellent grapes: in fact, 4 million years ago the partners' vineyards were all submerged by the sea. Still today it is possible to find beautiful fossils while out walking between the rows of vines on the hillsides. The soil is rich in minerals which exert a positive influence on the main grape variety in this area: Sangiovese. Targeted pruning and the so-called green grape-picking technique, with the reduction of bunches per plant, also help obtain the best possible grapes.
The southern exposure of the vines ensures greater daily insulation, favouring full ripening of the grapes. Also present in this territory, besides Sangiovese, are the Merlot, Syrah, Canaiolo, and also the Chardonnay and Trebbiano varieties. For years Leonardo da Vinci Winery has been promoting a research activity in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Florence, which avails of a hectare of vines in the area of Vinci, right behind the winery's headquarters. This vineyard includes 17 Sangiovese biotypes. After five years the five top biotypes were identified by colour, bouquet, structure, and more generally, their oenological merits. The land was consequently divided into five different sections in which the selected biotypes have been planted in a randomised manner, the results of which are constantly monitored by the university students. Further to a study of Leonardo da Vinci's documents, Leonardo da Vinci Winery has been able to reproduce the grapevine that was donated to the genius by Ludovico il Moro when he lived in Milan. This trellised grapevine can be admired during the tour of the winery.