Terroir – that vague, nigh-on untranslatable French term – refers to a multitude of characteristics: climate, altitude, latitude, soil, the look and gradient of the vineyard and the traditions and vision of the grower. When combined, all of these factors are what makes a wine unique.
BOND WITH THE LOCAL AREA
Producing wines that reflect the terroir has never been a choice for Castello di Monsanto – it’s part of our nature, made up of respect, identity and infinite passion.
A strong bond with the local area, paired with the unique characteristics of a particular year, are more than a brand for our wines.
The various different zones encompassing the ridge of hills running from the northwest to the southeast of the Chianti Classico region feature alternating areas of light and marly ground, sandstone and clay/sandy veining or pure galestro. Galestro is a key determining factor in the characteristics of the wine of Castello di Monsanto, providing finesse and longevity.
galestro, a schistous rock, gives our wines a bold character and considerable depth. Near the surface it takes on a gravelly quality, allowing the roots to penetrate through the layers, gaining tannins and vibrant acidity. In its solid form, when it is known as Macigno Chiantigiano, it retains moisture deep down, allowing plants to survive prolonged dry spells.
On the south slope of the estate, the presence of galestro alternates with a high concentration of tuff, a looser soil type with better drainage. Over the years, fossils from the cretaceous period have been found in this earth, illustrating the dynamic geology of the area.
The Monsanto estate is located on a land shelf with an unbroken horizon. It overlooks the Elsa Valley, which allows Mistral winds to blow straight in from the Tyrrhenian Sea, warming the winters and cooling the summers. Sangiovese is at its best here, but one has to be patient through the ripening period, which is very long.
The constant wind that blows around the Monsanto estate reduces the risk of frost in spring, increases the health of the grapes by cutting humidity and results in significant changes in temperature between night and day, allowing the aromas in the grapes to develop.
The vineyards, which are located between 280 and 320 meters above sea level, enjoy a microclimate that allows the Sangiovese grapes to ripen in a balanced and constant way most years, with no real early ripening caused by global warming.
The green belt around the vineyards acts like a perfectly balanced, living breeding ground of enzymatic biodiversity.
It results in crucial biological harmony for the vines, allowing them to become the richest and purest expression possible of their terroir. Wild cypress, juniper, broom, oak, laurel, briar root and strawberry trees are among the varieties of trees and shrubs found in this typically Mediterranean subarea.