Ridolfi, the emerging winery
An important past, an innovative future, a solid present. This is why Ridolfi wins the Emerging Winery Award for 2021 in the Vini d’Italia guide. The winery, once belonging to the noble Ridolfi family, was purchased in 2011 by Venetian industrial entrepreneur Giuseppe Valter Peretti. Thus the new course began, entrusted to the management of director Gianni Maccari, who has worked in the cellar since 2014. On the northern side of Montalcino, the coolest, at an altitude of approximately 300 metres, near the Strada del Brunello (35 hectares, 19 of which are planted in vines). Four different labels, all stylistically different, are dedicated the Brunello denomination, reigning supreme in the territory: 25-35 Hl barrels for the “vintage” version and Mercatale; Slavonian oak and French oak for L’incontro; barrique for the Donna Rebecca. The Tre Bicchieri deserve a fine and complex Brunello ‘15 which, through the aromas of fruit and tobacco and a vibrant and dynamic sip, faithfully expresses the terroir.
Let’s begin with the bond with Montalcino. What does this land mean to you?
Tuscany in general and Montalcino in particular fascinated me since I was young. Since 1992 I’ve had a house in Tuscany, in Larciano, where I spend my vacations with family. Then when I decided to invest in the world of wine I had no doubts: Montalcino! A magical territory capable of expressing wines of excellent quality.
Compared to what you found of the old winery, what changes did you make for your idea of a winery?
The company I bought had a very small cellar with minimal and outdated equipment, as the previous property mostly sold grapes or destined them in bulk. Therefore, we worked for 3 years to build a completely new cellar, completely renewing the oaks for aging.
What are the characteristics that, in your opinion, a company that looks to the future must have today and that, like yours, has deserved the recognition as Emerging Winery?
The use of the most modern technology without the use of chemistry and great attention to oaks for aging. The fundamental rule must be to bring a great grape to the cellar and vinify it with great care and attention.
From the very beginning you chose Gianni Maccari as winemaker to support you in the Ridolfi project. What is your relationship and how do you both manage the work?
With Gianni I share the principles of how to work and what result we are striving for. We are 100% aligned on these issues. Operationally, we discuss important choices together, but then it’s up to him to know how to implement them and, of course, daily operations.
Among the projects carried out, there is sparkling rosé. Can Sangiovese be sparkling and can this be a new driver for the future?
We believe that the driver for the future is to continue making great quality and elegant wines. Ridolfi is well-known, and we want it to be even more so, as ambassador of Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino. We consider Rosé Brut as the completion of our range. The great quality in Sangiovese allows us to sparkle it to obtain a fresh, elegant and fragrant product.
The other driver is sustainability. Sexual confusion, sowing and green manure barley and fertilizing are some of the practices you use. Is respect for the environment now an obligatory path?
Not mandatory but necessary and obligatory for the environment, for those who live in cultivated areas and for people who appreciate Ridolfi wines. This is a very topical and important subject which concerns not only today’s agriculture but also other economic sectors.
Let’s go to the present. What are you planning for this harvest?
The wine is made in the vineyard and in the cellar we try to enhance the quality that nature gives us every year. In our opinion, it will be an exceptional harvest because the weather conditions allowed the grapes to ripen optimally.
Let’s finish with a reflection on this particular moment and with your recipe for overcoming issues related to Covid…
The moment we are going through is difficult and we are working hard to get the wine market back on track. In these trying times we need to join forces between wineries. We are trying to have our wines distributed throughout Italy and abroad in order to reach the largest number of customers and wine lovers as possible. Moreover, through our e-commerce, we provide private customers with the opportunity to easily have Ridolfi wines on their tables and in their glasses thanks to the Ridolfi website.
Montalcino (SI) – località Mercatali, 1 – 0577 16 98 333 – https://www.ridolfimontalcino.it
by Loredana Sottile