The picturesque Monteverro (literally “mount of the wild boar”) estate is located between the quaint hilltop village of Capalbio, in the southernmost part of Tuscany near Grosseto, and the sea. Georg Weber, a young German entrepreneur, purchased the property in 2003 after an lengthy three-year search to find the perfect site for producing a wine that would be able to compete with the finest in the world.
In fact, though largely overlooked until recently, the mineral and iron-rich soils of the Monteverro estate are particularly well adapted to growing excellent quality vines. The large pebbles present throughout the soil create a natural drainage for any surface water (a common situation in the winter) while the clay absorbs the water during the heat of summer, releasing it very slowly. Detailed studies of the agronomic and chemical particularities of the soil, microclimate, and even the wind were carried out by some of the world’s most influential experts in the field, confirming the enormous potential of the land. Similar studies are continued each year to better understand the characteristics and microbiological life of the soils, enabling the constant pursuit of exceptional quality.
The Monteverro estate covers 50 hectares (123 acres), of which 27 (67 acres) are planted to vine, rising gently from an altitude of 30 meters (98 feet) above sea level to about 80 meters (262 feet). The first vines were planted in 2004 and reflect Weber’s inspiration from the great wines of Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon is the prevalent variety, followed by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Rhone-inspired Syrah and Grenache, and Petit Verdot. A little more than a hectare of Chardonnay and a small vineyard of the local variety Vermentino represent the production of whites. Each vineyard is tended with extreme care and each action, from pruning to harvest, is carried out manually, managing the vines plant by plant.
The state-of-the-art cellars are built into the side of the hill, ensuring a perfect natural control of both temperature and humidity. During the manual harvest of the grapes, each vineyard parcel is divided into micro-parcels, depending on the ripeness of the grapes and their flavor profile. Each of these parcels is in turn vinified separately to take full advantage of the unique character and natural differences in the soil. The grapes are handled as delicately as possible and the grapes/wines are moved only by gravity or special cranes to avoid using pumps. Even the most advanced technology is accompanied by a more artisan philosophy and the wines are fermented on their own yeasts, the long, slow fermentations allowing the personality of each barrel to develop at its own pace. An impressive barrel room holds 500 barriques and two ovoid-shaped cements tanks, used for aging the different wines.
Georg Weber’s enological education and inspiration was first concentrated around the great wines of Bordeaux and they continue to be a point of reference for him. His aspiration is to produce an Italian “Premier Grand Cru” from a Bordeaux blend, influenced by the sun and unique soils of southern Tuscany. The estate’s flagship wine is Monteverro, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. This wine is produced from a rigorous selection of only the finest grapes, and is meticulously attended to in every phase of the production process from the harvest to the final blending of wines from each individual parcel. The “second wine” is Terra di Monteverro, produced from the same blend as Monteverro, but from different parcels, and is a more immediate wine. A Syrah/Grenache blend called Tinata (in honor of Weber’s mother Christine, or “Tina,”) is produced in a miniscule quantity from grapes on a single cru hillside vineyard, and the production is completed by a Chardonnay and very few bottles of the local grape variety Vermentino.
An eclectic and international team manages Monteverro, engaging the expertise and collaboration of some of the most experienced and renowned winemakers and consultants in the world. The invaluable commitment and enthusiasm of every employee at Monteverro is essential to ensuring the creation of truly unique and authentic wines.
A great wine is like a work of art; is pushes us to seek out and respect each terroir’s unique character.