Terroir and Vineyard Management
Terralsole is a testament to the modern renaissance in winemaking in Italy today, particularly Tuscany. The balance of technology with a profound respect for tradition results in a deep expression of the local terroir.
Our Merlot IGT was planted on the cooler, northern slope of the Pian Bossolino Property, the Cabernet Franc on the west, while Syrah was planted on the southwestern slope of the warmer, drier Fonte Lattaia property. Mario’s vineyard philosophy calls for high-density planting anywhere from 5000 to 7000 plants per hectare, (2.47 acres) rendering fewer, higher-quality grapes per vine. Removing leaves to accelerate ripening, or encouraging growth to shade from the warm Montalcino sun requires vigilant canopy management. Living soil preservation is also essential for us. We adhere to EEC regulations regarding controlled substances and are in the process of applying for certification in Biological, organic vineyard practices which we currently use for our spraying regimen, cover crops and fertilizers, including fava beans, sheep dung, and cow pies.
The Pian Bossolino vineyards surround the Spectacular Villa Terralsole and winery, sitting high on the southeastern slope of Montalcino, behind Biondi Santi. The soil consists of mixed marl, large limestone, and metamorphic composites. Pian Bossolino has gentle, even slopes 1,200 feet above sea level and enjoys the cooler weather and excellent ventilation. This situation allows Sangiovese Grosso to ripen evenly and slowly, providing expressive aromas and spice in the wine.
The vineyards of Fonte Lattaia, meaning “milk spring,” face southwest and sit lower in altitude at 750 feet on the southwestern slopes, bordering the road that links the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo, to the hamlet of Sant’Angelo in Colle. Its unique terroir of marine deposits and clay help vines maintain a balance amid the warmer, dry climate. Here, Sangiovese is rich, stately and strong; just like the inspiring 9th-century abbey of Sant’Antimo located nearby.
During the precise moment that the grapes achieve peak ripeness, Mario and Athena personally oversee all selections made at harvest. 100% of the harvest is done by hand and carried to the winery in small boxes to preserve the integrity of the skins. The grapes are then gently de-stemmed and gravity fed into individually temperature-controlled tanks. From there all primary (alcoholic) and secondary (malolactic) fermentation is completed in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. This allows for a cold maceration period, resulting in maximum extraction of the bouquet, color, and aromas. Terralsole is the only estate in Montalcino currently using 600-liter “Tonneaux” oak barrels exclusively from the Allier forest in France (tight grained/old oak trees by law) to age our Brunello. We use a variety of sizes including barriques of this same French oak to age our 3 IGT Varietals and Rosso di Montalcino.