La Torre alle Tolfe is an organic agricultural estate in the Chianti region of Tuscany, in the subregion of Chianti Colli Senesi. The estate extends over 100 hectares, and includes 13 hectares of vineyards, interspersed with olive groves, woodland and meadows.
The hilltop location of our vineyards (330m above sea level) guarantees good ventilation with a dry microclimate around the vines. Our soils mostly have good drainage, with quite a high sand content (roccia arenaria), but this does vary between vineyards and we are making the most of this variability. One perhaps surprising component of our soils is marine life: some three to five millions years ago our land was coastal and parts of the land are rich in both beach pebbles and oyster shells.
Our predominant grape variety is Sangiovese (the main component of our wines), with other local varieties including Canaiolo, Colorino and Ciliegiolo. They are trained and pruned following in the Guyot system. We hand pick each variety separately at the optimum time of maturation. We have been making wine using organic methods, since 2003 and are constantly moving towards more natural and sustainable methods. Our aim is to build long-term sustainability into our soils and vines, to obtain the best possible grapes, that reflect the terroir, with minimal mechanical and chemical intervention. We invest in manual labour to avoid soil compaction, and we manage our grass cover to reduce erosion during wet periods, while avoiding excessive water competition during the dryer months.
Following the arrival of Stefano Amadeo – our agricultural advisor- in 2017, we have invested in the analysis of our soils and of the flower and insect biodiversity in the vineyards. With his help we are increasingly managing the vineyards as ecosystems, building up the soils, and enhancing natural diversity, for example of native plants and pollinators. Interventions involve the targeted use of organic manure, grass cover and green manures (such as nitrogen fixing plants) to ensure ideal growth conditions for our vines and grapes. We are also meticulous in the pruning and management of our new vines to encourage their health and longevity, without pushing for excessive production.