The fortress stands on the top of the hills dividing the Elsa and the Pesa rivers in the heart of the Chianti Classico region near the city of Castellina in Chianti, at a place called Conca d'oro (the Golden basin), only 21 km from Siena and 40 km from Florence.

Soil types

The 47 hectares of hilly land, including woods, olive groves and vineyards have a limestone soil, which produces tannic and intense wines of great structure, and extremely dry marl with a high filtering capacity, rich in minerals. After brief and abundant rainy spells, the land filters the water perfectly, producing highly concentrated, quality grapes, which regale us with elegant wines endowed with great ageing potential.

Types of vineyards

No varietal can interpret the characteristics of this soil more effectively than Sangiovese, or modify its bouquet according to the land it comes from.

Tuscan Trebbiano is one of the traditional white-berried cultivars of this area.

Hence, Sangiovese prevails over the other autochthonous blending varietal, Clorino Nero, of Florentine origin, and confirms the concept of tradition, despite the almost universal application of a spurred cordon training system. We prefer it to the classical guyot method because it allows for a specifically targeted production of high-quality grapes.

Concentrated in the areas around the village, most of the vineyards were planted in the years from 2006 to 2016, while the others date back to the 1975 – 1980 period.

Crop density ranges from the 4000 plants/ha of the older systems to 5500 of the more recent ones, amounting to a low yield per hectare, which exceeds the provisions laid down by regulations.

The most favourable area is that of the "Sotto Rocca" vineyard, which extends over stony land, for a total surface of 2 ha and enjoys western exposure.

Our most precious label of Chianti Classico “Riserva” has been a product of these vineyards since 2002.

Microclimate

The fundamental characteristic of the Rocca vineyards is its particular microclimate, the best in the area, also thanks to a perfect exposure to the sun.

Given the altitude and exposure to the north wind, here the winter is very cold (450/490m a.s.l.) with frequent snowfalls and frosts, but it gives way to a lush spring with warm dry weather, followed by sun-kissed summers. In the months before the harvest, the days are long and sunny with medium-high temperatures and cool nights. Pronounced differences in temperature constitute another advantage offered by this area, giving the grapes their primary fragrances and aromas, which are indispensable to the production of well-structured wines with a high potential for ageing.

Production

Pest control is mainly natural and integrated and, when this is not sufficient, light phytopharmaceuticals may be used.

The success of our Chianti Classico wines is mainly due to the work carried out in the vineyard, starting from an attentive manual pruning on the part of skilled workers trained by ourselves and supervised by an agronomist, in a constant strive for the perfect balance between the quality of the fruit and the long life of the plant. This is followed by a selection of future fruit bearing shoots and their three respective ties. Every year, the production schedule involving the use of machinery has to be diversified according to the rainfall and climate, but it inevitably opts for the most sustainable integrated pest control system possible. Leaf-stripping operations and a pre-harvest selection of the grapes are carried out in the vineyards in the weeks leading up to the harvest.

The harvest normally takes place in the period between September 25 and October, 25 and this all-manual activity is carried out by expert workers who control the quality of each cluster destined for the cellar, while eliminating any unsuitable grapes. Finally, the fertilization process is carried out in consideration of the plant’s main nourishment requirements, studied on a case by case basis for each plot of land.

Naturally, various factors contribute to the quality of the end-product, primarily the weather conditions which, in vintage years, guarantee perfectly ripe and uniform grapes, but the vine-growing and harvesting activities performed by man in the vineyard are also of utmost importance.

The winery canteen is equipped with state-of-the-art fermentation techniques for controlling the must. The building itself, even though it has been extended, has not yet been modernised and still preserves the artisanal atmosphere of an old-style family farm. The barrique cellar, which was built under the vaults of the old village trough, is equipped with barriques, tonneaux and French oak barrels. The original thick stone walls guarantee excellent thermal insulation and, together with the air-conditioning system, maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels.