The estate extends over the hills around Gambassi Terme, in the central Chianti area marked by the path of the Via Francigena, a land with a natural vocation for quality fruit-growing.
This is the land once inhabited by the Etruscans, its founders, who introduced vine and olive growing. The story of the wines produced in this area confirms the exceptional properties of the soil.
Types of soil
With about 15 hectares of hilly land, comprising vineyards, olive groves and woods, our firm has all the requisites for creating excellent products. The composition of the soil is largely sandy and therefore ideal for obtaining an elegant and fragrant wine, and sufficiently clayey to confer structure and longevity.
Types of vineyards
The main varietal cultivated on the Fontalsalice estate is Sangiovese, along with a small quantity of Trebbiano and Colorino Nero of Florentine origin. We adopt the spurred cordon vine training system in our vineyards which extend over the various hilltops, mainly westward facing where they get the full benefit of the summer sun. Finally, good water drainage systems enable the fruit to grow quickly.
The early systems date back to 1978 while others were implemented around 2008.
Density ranges from 4000-5000 vines per hectare, while the yield is about 95 quintals per hectare.
The vineyard is characterized by the presence of more than 6 biotypes of the Sangiovese varietal.
We have focused our efforts on identifying the best clones, on the grounds of colour, scent and structure. Once selected, clones are arranged randomly and constantly monitored.
The vineyard names are those originally assigned by our ancestors.
More specifically, the "Fontamara" vineyard, which was replanted in 2008, extends over chalky-clay land, for a total surface of 2.4 ha with south, south-west exposure.
Starting from 2017, these vines will be used for the production of our most prestigious label called "Reginella", which, in the next few years, once the experimental phase is over, will be launched on the market as a Super Tuscan.
The climate of this area is particularly suitable for the production of excellent wines. The average altitude of the vineyards is around 320 m a.s.l., which gives us fairly cold winters and frequent snowfalls, useful for purifying both plants and soil. In spring, when nature flourishes and temperature variations can be frequent, the plants grow slowly before going on to blossom in hot humid summers. In the weeks before the harvest, there can be strong temperature variations which confer primary fragrances and aromas to the grapes, an important requisite for the production of wines endowed with great structure and ageing potential.
Fontalsalice wines mainly owe their success to the work carried out in the vineyard, starting from an attentive manual pruning on the part of skilled workers, in a constant strive for the perfect balance between quality fruit and the 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 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.
Harvesting takes place when the grapes reach their optimum level of ripeness, usually at the beginning of October, 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.
Even though our firm’s production is not entirely organic, its agricultural methods are inspired by the principles of naturalness and sustainability, while restricting the use of synthetic chemical products and seeking to exploit in-house resources rather than external ones.
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.
The finest wines can only be produced in environment-friendly conditions. A "terroir" renowned for centuries thanks to its vocation for high-quality wine-growing owing to a unique combination of high altitudes and a perfect microclimate, prevalently warm with pronounced temperature variations.
A words about olive trees
Olive groves are divided into different plots, with a plantation density of 550 plants/ha. The olive cultivars grown here are native to the Chianti area, that is to say, Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, Pendolino and Maurino. The olives, which are mechanically harvested in November, are pressed in one or two days at most in a modern olive oil mill to produce typical and very renowned extra virgin, IGP or DOP olive oils.