A cellar

beyond time and space

A cellar suspended in time and guardian of bottles and all the stories contained in each one. Here, three different souls coexist in a place where an almost-deafening silence prevails. One of these is the tunnel where construction began in 1986 and ended in 1992 at the hands of those who were already renovating the farmhouses: Mario Secci, Giotto Cicionesi, and Romolo Bartalesi. There was only one challenge: to hand-excavate and finish a 300 metre underground tunnel for the storage of wooden barrels by using only marl stones from the vineyards and employing a medieval technique of wooden centring to give shape to a very long and evocative low Etruscan arch. The oldest soul of the cellar, from the eighteenth century, contains one of the largest archives in Italy with 60 years of history. A number of important bottles are kept inside, the oldest from 1962, the year of the first harvest and the birth of the first Chianti Classico Cru. On the opposite side, however, is the more recent part where, in the early 1970s, the use of stainless steel fermentation tanks had already begun to replace wooden ones, which are much more difficult to manage temperature control. In the same years, chestnut barrels were exchanged for those made of Slavonian oak, imparting sweeter and less aggressive tannins. Monsanto’s cellar is a proper journey through time from the present day, passing through an important piece of history, and taking us back to when the past was already the future.