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"Quality is more important than quantity." This statement, which Ambrogio Folonari made decades ago, should have a great impact. Since the 18th century, the Folonari family has been one of the great producers and exporters of Italian wine. Ambrogio's grandfather once bought Ruffino and made Chianti world famous in the fiasco bottle. When, after inheritances in the family, it was decided to sell part of the estate to Constellation Brands, Ambrogio Folonari decided to go his own way and concentrate on wineries in Tuscany. Today, the Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari group of companies owns around 350 hectares in the six wineries: Nozzole and Cabreo (both Chianti Classico), Campo al Mare (Bolgheri), La Fuga (Brunello di Montalcino), Tor Calvano Gracciano (Montepulciano) and Porrona (Maremma-Montecucco).
One could say that at Campo al Mare all grapes have a clear view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. That's how close the vineyards are to the coast. Only one to two kilometres as the crow flies, but 200-350 m above sea level away. Only the famous neighbours are even closer. The next one is the Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, from which also the probably most famous Merlot of Italy originates, the Masseto.
Whether this had an influence on the selection of the grape varieties can only be speculated. But Merlot stands on more than half of the more than 20 hectares planted with red wine. The top wine of the house that Baia al Vento holds 90% Merlot. "The success of Masseto was certain in the back of his mind"says star oenologist Roberto Potentini, who is responsible for the qualitative development of all Folonaris vineyards. Away from the dark, furry, wood-laden wines and towards regional typicity and varietal character.
This is here on the "red soils" The unique microclimate, also with the Bordeaux vine variety mix, is possible. Natural cultivation in the vineyards, modern cellar technology. That means nothing bad, just the opposite. The possibility to react concretely to every peculiarity of different locations or plots, as well as to the ever more extreme weather caprioles. For the extremely warm and dry 2017 vintage, some vineyards had to be harvested at the beginning of August, others only in mid-September. For every idea and for every vineyard you can fall back on the suitable container for fermentation or storage. Each individual batch that makes sense is vinified separately and only then is the entire cuvée composed from all these batches.
Newly planted are Vermentino and Cabernet Franc, which will come into production in the next few years, as these are the two varieties that are expected to develop very well, especially in terms of storage potential.
Even though Ambrogio officially handed over to his son Giovanni Folonari in 2017, everyone knows that the senior president, who is bursting with ideas, will certainly not disappear from the scene. He has just become the most influential critic in Italy, "Doctor Wine" Daniele Cernilli the first prize winner of the "Una Vita per il Vino" as a thank you for his constant work to improve quality in Italian viticulture. One "Wine Oscar" for his life's work. We congratulate and look forward to the coming years! SUPERIORE.DE
- Year of foundation: 1999
- Owners: Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari
- Oenologist: Raffaele de Orlandini
- Oenology Consultant: Roberto Potentini
- Annual production: approx. 150,000 bottles
- Vineyard: approx. 28.5 hectares
- Natural cultivation