Filippo Magnani’s wine tourism company Fufluns has been a pioneer in creating authentic wine tourism for 20 years. This is a quote of his last article posted in Magnani’s Blog in which Montenidoli was included.
“A magic circle connects four wine gems of central Tuscany. Montenidoli in Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Castell’in Villa in Chianti Classico, Sanguineto in Nobile di Montepulciano and Le Chiuse di Sotto in Brunello di Montalcino. I feel honored to share the story of four “vignaiole toscane women wine producers from Tuscany” who lead these wineries: Elisabetta Fagiuoli, Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa, Dora Forsoni and Laura Brunelli.
Tales of women with character who dedicate their lives to making majestic wines, based on native grape varieties such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Sangiovese, through organic viticulture and environmentally sustainable practices. All these estates are located in beautiful spots, reachable by an easy drive for a wine travel itinerary.
The first of these four ‘vineyard heroines’ is Elisabetta Fagiuoli. Her story with the Vernaccia di San Gimignano started in 1965 when she bought 500 acres of woodlands in the tophill of Montenidoli in front of the town of San Gimignano, with her husband Sergio Muratori who then passed away in 2012. Sergio the Patriarch, the ‘Magister’, was a simple teacher but a great healer for children, youngsters, adults, elderly folk. In 2014 Montenidoli set up Sergio the Patriarch Foundation, to continue the heritage of the great teacher. To go beyond borders and be together, to understand we are all part of the same family on our small planet, this is the aim of the foundation (www.sergiothepatriarch.org). Elisabetta, with love and passion, continued the work of restoring the wild area and started her wine production by using a strictly organic approach to her farming. The soil at Montenidoli is mainly chalky and full of marine fossils and shells, a perfect condition to produce great white wines. The property is surrounded by the forest, vineyards are planted with great attention to the terroir and in a full respect to nature. The land and its wines reflect the soul of Elisabetta in all her elegance and strong character. Her farming has been consistent throughout the decades, she has kept planting and growing the native varieties of Vernaccia, Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano Gentile, and Malvasia Bianca… the traditional grapes of the Chianti area. Her method has paid off as now her Vernaccia di San Gimignano reached a cult status in the Tuscany white wine market.
They say that the grapes there have everything they need. The sun and the clean air is what makes the Montenidoli vines healthy and resistant. 100% hand-picked Vernaccia, that macerates long on the skins, is pressed just before the fermentation to enhance the character and flavors of the land. Montenidoli Vernaccia has always been considered the ‘red’ of white wines because of the body, the climate in which it is sprung, and the aging potential. At Montenidoli, Elisabetta produces three different Vernaccia di San Gimignano, all pure, 100% Vernaccia. Tradizione is made in concrete tanks, it must macerate at length with the skins, then be pressed as soon as the fermentation begins. Fiore is made entirely in stainless steel and only from the freerun juice. Both Tradizione and Fiore are aged 12 to 16 months. Carato is fermented in French barriques up to seven or eight years; after 12 months in barrel, it ages another year in cement vats and two in bottles before release. “