Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses

Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses.

Italy surely is one of the major wine countries in the world and Tuscany does not need an introduction. But how much do you know about this beautiful part of Italy? 

With all its richness and diversity this might be one of the most exciting, and surely inviting, wine regions in Italy. It is this diversity that made us decide to put a spotlight on the vineyards and wineries that please so many of us, all over the world. And who better to ask to tell this story than the wineries and their wines? 

Over a timespan of six months we focus on bringing across the uniqueness and differences of the history, terroir and wines of Tuscany. We will do so by presenting their story over four chapters, building up to a finale with a physical Masterclass.

Learn from the best, up-close and personal

We will be taking you on a journey, together with five exciting guests that will inspire and educate you. A collection of experts, never captured in one story, until now. We are proud to announce our collaboration with the following leading regions and wineries:

  • Bibi Graetz, Tuscany IGP
  • Isole e Olena, Chianti Classico
  • Poggio Al Tesoro, Bolgheri
  • Poggio San Polo, Montalcino
  • Podere Boscarelli, Montepulciano

Join our all-star team on a journey through Tuscany, a journey through five lenses.

The Wineries

For this project we selected only the best, from some of Tuscany’s key regions. Visionaries, masters of their craft, rebels and legends, known across the world for their beautiful wines. Get introduced to our all-star team.

Tuscany, Bibi Graetz

Tuscany has a lot to offer, from the coastline to the hills and even mountains. Climatological influences that vary heavily on where you are and soil types that offer diversity and character. On top of all of this this Italian region offers a nice selection of indigenous grape varieties, and it is a welcoming home to a large number of French (Bordeaux and Rhone) varietals as well. Understanding Tuscany is not easy, as this part of Italy will surprise you more than once.

There are a lot of great winemakers and wineries that stand out in Tuscany, and a lot of them do a great job in translating its uniqueness into their wines. One man however has become a household name in the past 20 years: Bibi Graetz, an artist as much as a winemaker.

Bibi Graetz is a proud ambassador of Tuscany, growing his grapes mainly on old vines in different parts of Tuscany, with a focus on indigenous varieties. He labels his wines as Tuscan IGP’s, not committing to any of the sub-regions, but giving way for his wines to tell their own story. Bibi Graetz’s winery is located on top of a hill overlooking the ancient city of Florence and covers a total of about 80 hectares, spread over different parts of Tuscany. His most iconic wines are Testamatta and Colore, both reds, with a main role for Sangiovese.

Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena

Chianti is a region that has formed Tuscany like no other. Focusing on one of Italy’s darlings, Sangiovese, the wines from Chianti and Chianti Classico are seen as some of the most recognizable and well-known examples of Tuscan reds worldwide. History and present of this part of Tuscany are not really in sync however. For a long time, it was believed that an 100% Sangiovese wine was not the way to go. These days the story has changed, and one man and his estate might have played a crucial role in this. Paolo de Marchi from Isole e Olena.

Paolo de Marchi was born in Italy’s other great wine region, Piedmont, but moved with his parents to Tuscany in 1955 when his father acquired 300 hectares of land in the western part of Chianti Classico (the core part of Chianti). Situated around two villages (Isole and Olena) he merged the vineyards and created the like named winery “Isole e Olena”.  When Paolo joined working in the winery it quickly became clear he had his own vision and philosophy, which he used to further form the estate and become one of Chianti’s (and Italy’s) greatest winemakers. 

Paolo was the first winemaker in Chianti to use oak barrels in his cellar, and he also secretly produced the first Chianti made with red only grapes when this was not permitted – white grapes had to be included in the blend. It became clearer to him that Sangiovese was the variety he needed most, and he started re-plantings and restructuring of vineyards to shift to a 100% Sangiovese based Chianti red. Even if that, at the time, meant the wine was to be labeled as IGP wine. Today this vision and persistence is applauded and the wine that embodies this is Cepparello, one of the great Tuscan (and Chianti) reds. Isole e Olena is part of the EPI Group since 2022, with Paolo still being active for the winery.

Bolgheri, Poggi Al Tesoro

Bolgheri is the land of the Super Tuscans, along the Tuscan coast this region has typical soils and a strong influence of the sea. Producers here saw potential to work with a combination of Bordeaux varieties, with or sometimes without the region’s star Sangiovese. These days some of the best and most expensive wines in Italy are produced here, wines that did not fit into any classification when the region first was shaped. As there was no fitting classification for these “Bordeaux blends” they only option was to qualify as the lowest classification of all; table wines. After years of increasing success, the tables have turned, and now the rebels of the past have their own classification under the Bolgheri DOC.

One of the estates that is seeking perfection in the “Super Tuscan category” is Poggio Al Tesoro, part of the famous family owned Allegrini group (originating from the north of Italy, Valpolicella). In 2001, Marilisa Allegrini and her brother Walter choose to set new course in Bolgheri creating Poggio Al Tesoro. 

The estate now includes Marilisa’s daughters, Carlotta and Caterina. Alongside their mother, and in honor of their beloved uncle, they carry this incredible project forward and contribute to making it one of the most dynamic and significant wineries in Bolgheri. Their flagship wines? Sondraia and Poggio Al Tesoro Dedicato a Walter (as an homage to Marilisa’s brother who passed away in 2003). 20 years after the first vintage Poggio Al Tesoro covers 64 hectares, with a number of different grape varieties in 4 different areas in Bolgheri. 

Montalcino, Poggio San Polo

Montalcino has achieved world-status and forms the home for some of the most sought-after Italian reds on the international wine scene. This Tuscan mountain village with its own DOCG status is small but unique, with a leading role for Brunello, its own iteration on the Sangiovese variety. Brunello di Montalcino forms the pinnacle of age-worthy wines and its prices rise year after year. 

The vineyards and estates in and around this village focus on producing a younger, more fruit driven version called “Rosso di Montalcino” but the real magic takes place in the levels above this, who receive long oak ageing, “Brunello di Montalcino” and the “Brunello di Montalcino Riserva”.

Poggio San Polo is the second Tuscan estate in our campaign owned by the Allegrini family, who fell in love with the history and potential of Montalcino when they bought the estate (with 16 hectares of vineyards) in 2001. The family’s ambition shows in the professionalism and investments made, both in the vineyards and cellar. Although relatively young this estate is rising to the top of Montalcino’s elite, with scores for their wines rising year after year. The estate’s flagship wines are their San Polo Brunello, Podernovi and Vignavecchia. Poggio San Polo also enjoys the interest and contribution of Marilisa’s daughters.

Montepulciano, Boscarelli

Often overlooked and maybe a bit overshadowed is another mountain village, that lies about 40 kilometers land inwards from Montalcino, Montepulciano. This is the home of Vino Nobile Montepulciano, a royal wine with history and strong identity. For centuries the red wines from this village were ranked amongst the best in Tuscany and originally, they were served on the dining tables of Tuscan nobility, hence the addition ‘Nobile’. Like Montalcino the main component (minimum 70%) in this wine is the Sangiovese grape, that carries the name Prugnole Gentile here. 

Poderi Boscarelli started in 1962 in Cervognano of Montepulciano, being founded by Egidio Corradi and later ran by his daughter Paola and her husband Ippolito de Ferrari. These days their sons Luca and Nicolò De Ferrari are at the head of the winery that spreads over 22 hectares of vineyards. 80% of which planted with Sangiovese and the remainder with some other native varieties (Mammolo Canaiolo and Colorino) and some international varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet. In total they produce about 100,000 bottles yearly with a big role for the flagship wine Vino Nobile de Montepulciano (50,000).

The Chapters

Six months might seem like a long time but wait until you see what we have in store for you! We divided our campaign in four chapters, which will teach you all you need to know about Tuscany. Below an overview of the chapters.

  • Chapter 1: Wine Reviews: Individual wine reviews per winery 
  • Chapter 2: Winery Profiles: Long-read article per winery 
  • Chapter 3: Tuscan Talk Show: Video interview per winery
  • Chapter 4: Tuscan Masterclass: Physical masterclass event

Chapter 1: Wine Reviews

In our first chapter we explore Tuscany by reviewing some of the finest wines made in each of the five regions. Each of our main guests has provided us with some of their most exemplary wines. In total about 20 wines will be reviewed extensively, including some of the highest rated wines in Italy. With each wine we discover a bit more about the philosophy of the wineries and their winemakers.

Chapter 2: Winery Profiles

Now we had a taste of the different Tuscan regions it is time to take a deep-dive and learn more about the wineries that produce these beauties. In our second chapter we are serving a 1:1 profile for each participating winery, discussing their history, present and future. We will be sure to ask them about their philosophy and what makes their region so unique.

Chapter 3: Talk Show 

Some of our most loyal followers might recall our Talk Show “Cellar Talks”, a successful format which we broadcasted on Instagram Live. Up-close and personal interviews, with the best of the best from the wine industry. Now it is time to bring our talk show back, featuring some of the leading figures in the wineries we have got to know so well. Learn from winemakers and winery owners and get yourself a front-row seat for a special season of Cellar Talks.

Chapter 4: Tuscan Masterclass

For the finale of this spectacular journey we will gather the five stories, and a selection of the wines, for a physical Masterclass. More details on how to join this amazing event to follow soon.

Stay up to date!

This project is one of our biggest to date, and is nothing short of a spectacle. We offer you a front row seat to in our classroom, the only thing you need do is tune in and learn first handed from the best of the best. 

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