[Cellar Talks] S06E02 Poggio San Polo – Riccardo Fratton

[Cellar Talks] S06E02 Poggio San Polo – Riccardo Fratton.

As part of our special project ‘Tuscany a Journey through Five Lenses’ we are bringing you 5 brand new episodes of your beloved talk show Cellar Talks, live on Instagram.

On Friday the 3rd of November we are broadcasting the second episode of this series, which will take you to the iconic town of Montalcino. Our guest is Poggio San Polo’s winemaker: Riccardo Fratton. 

Montalcino, and its Brunello wines, are famous all over the world with their distinct profile and magnificent aging potential. Here Sangiovese has its own name and style, one of a kind and loved by many.

About the Winery

San Polo Montalcino: An Eminent Emblem of Sustainable Winemaking

Nestled seamlessly in its natural surroundings, the eco-conscious winery of Poggio San Polo is an underground marvel, exemplifying harmonious design that respects and blends with the landscape. But while its architecture is subtle, the wines it produces demand attention and respect.

San Polo’s journey witnessed a transformative phase in 2007 when Marilisa Allegrini, offspring of the Valpolicella luminary Giovanni Allegrini, acquired a stake in Poggio San Polo. The epochal shift came in 2015 when Marilisa, alongside Carlotta and Caterina Mastella Allegrini, assumed complete ownership. These dynamic women, within an astonishingly short time, have elevated Poggio San Polo to esteemed acclaim. Their accomplishments are poetically symbolized by the term ‘Poggio’, which translates to ‘hill’ in Italian. 

Situated atop a southeast-facing hillside, San Polo’s vineyards boast elevations ranging from 420 to 450 meters above sea level. To provide context, Montalcino’s vineyards span altitudes from 120 to 650 meters. The winery’s higher elevation engenders notable temperature variances between day and night, fostering the natural retention of freshness and aroma in the wines.

Sprawling across 22 hectares, San Polo allocates 16 hectares exclusively for vine cultivation. The vine distribution is precise: 8 hectares for Brunello di Montalcino, 3 for Rosso di Montalcino, and 5 for Toscana IGT. The vineyard’s soil composition is multifaceted, but predominantly, the impoverished soils are replete with galestro or schist, accompanied by measures of silt and clay.

2015, a momentous year for San Polo due to the takeover, also saw the induction of the renowned oenologist Riccardo Fratton from Bertani. An emblem of its commitment to sustainability, Poggio San Polo achieved organic certification in 2017. Furthermore, its dedication to ethical and quality practices is underscored by its esteemed EqualitasBRCGS, and CasaClima certifications.

In summary, San Polo Montalcino is more than a winery; it’s a testament to sustainable practices, a beacon of female entrepreneurial prowess, and above all, a producer of world-class wines that mirror the passion and dedication of those who craft them.

About Riccardo Fratton: The Visionary Winemaker of San Polo

At the heart of San Polo’s winemaking excellence stands Riccardo Fratton, a young and gifted talent whose journey in oenology has been both impressive and inspiring. Commanding both technical and managerial aspects of the vineyard, Riccardo’s dedication and skill have made him an invaluable asset to the esteemed San Polo estate.

A proud alumnus of the University of Verona, Riccardo graduated with honors in 2006 from the Department of Oenology. He was mentored by the late, esteemed Prof. Roberto Ferrarini, ensuring that his foundation in winemaking was steeped in both knowledge and tradition.

With a desire to expand his horizons, Riccardo ventured out of Italy post-graduation. He spent two enriching years at the Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards in California. This stint in the heart of “new world” wine production provided him a unique perspective, blending his traditional Italian training with modern and innovative techniques.

Upon his return to Italy in 2009, the Valpolicella region beckoned. Working with the renowned Bertani family for six years, Riccardo deepened his expertise in an area celebrated for its ancient wine heritage. It was here that he honed his skills in traditional winemaking techniques, particularly those associated with the revered Amarone production.

2015 marked a significant milestone in Riccardo’s career when he joined San Polo in Montalcino. This wine-producing region, renowned globally for its rich tradition and exceptional wine-growing prowess, offered Riccardo the platform to showcase his expertise. Entrusted with guiding the entirety of San Polo’s operations, he has been instrumental in introducing more precise vineyard management strategies and has shown unwavering dedication to every facet of the wine production process.

The trust and faith placed in Riccardo by the Allegrini family, the owners of San Polo, speaks volumes. Their belief in him stands as a testament to their dedication in nurturing and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation. Under Riccardo Fratton’s guidance, San Polo’s legacy of producing exceptional wines is set to flourish for years to come.

About the Tasting

During the show we will be drinking the 2018 vintage of San Polo’s Brunello di Montalcino, together with Riccardo. The most recent vintage of the classic Brunello. We reviewed this wine earlier, awarding it with a 93-point DWA score. You can read this review here.

This interview is free to watch, no registration needed. Just tune in and prepare your questions if you want to learn more about Montalcino and San Polo.

  • Date: Friday the 3rd of November
  • Time: 20:00-21:00h CET
  • Place: Instagram Live

Edit: to watch the recording of the full interview click here.

Click here for instructions on how to follow a live show on Instagram Live. If you have questions for our guest you are welcome to prepare them and e-mail them to us or send them as a direct message on our Instagram account.