The Valle brothers – Umberto and Bernardo – bought the Poggio Trevvalle estate in 1998, bringing to Tuscany the years of grape-growing experience they built up in Puglia. Their goal was to make wines that would truly reflect the grape variety, the vineyards themselves and the winemaking traditions of the territory: honest, artisan wines that have clear links to the area they come from.
The estate covers around 45 acres, of which approximately 34 acres are vineyards. It’s located in Maremma, a large geographical area in southwest Tuscany, and sits in the foothills of Mount Amiata, close to the juncture of the River Ombrone and the Trasubbie creek.
Most of the vineyards, about 25 acres, are planted in the loam-clay soil of the gentler, south-facing slope of the Poggio Trevvalle hill. These vineyards yield wines that are round and generous. The remaining 9 acres of vineyards are planted on the north-facing slope of the hill, which is steeper and has slightly more clay in the soil, producing wines with more vigor and elegance.
Per the website, the “entire production of the winery has been certified BIO since 1999. Choosing to practice certified organic agriculture means commitment to the protection of environmental biodiversity and farming the soils without polluting the land or water. It has also adopted biodynamic agricultural methods for many years without, however, certification. In 2015 Poggio Trevvalle was certified BIODYNAMIC. According to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, the fertility and vitality of the land must be obtained and maintained by natural means: compost produced from solid, farmyard manure, green manure as fertilizer, crop rotation, mechanical pest control and pesticides made from mineral and vegetable substances.”
Poggio Trevvalle makes a handful of wines, including Montecucco Rosso DOC Pontolungo. The current bottle for sale is a 2017 vintage, a blend of Sangiovese (62%), Colorino and Merlot (30%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (8%). Produced without the addition of selected yeasts, this wine is deep ruby red with aromas of blackberry and berries.
These superb reds show beautiful richness and complexity. A perfect pairings with all the traditional and well-structured festive dishes, thanks to their vibrant acidity, medium to full body and smooth tannins that cut through the fat and cleanse the palate. Their fine aromas of dark fruits, tobacco, vanilla, and a flavorful finish pairs perfectly with second courses of meat, game, braised meat and aged cheeses.
PennLive sent several questions to owner Umberto Valle and received these replies:
Q, For readers who have never heard of the region, what should they know about the Maremma region?
A, The Maremma is a vast coastal area of western central Italy that covers both parts of Tuscany and Lazio regions, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Maremma – a land rich of history, culture and nature – is conventionally divided in three parts, from northwest to southwest:
- The Alta (Upper or Northern Maremma)
- The Maremma Grossetana
- The Lazio Maremma
The Tuscan wine region of Montecucco is located in the Maremma Grossetana entirely within the province of Grosseto, along the coast between the Gulf of Follonica to North-West and the mouth of Chiarone torrent to South-West (near to the spectacular Mt. Argentario Promontory), up to the heights of Monte Amiata.
Q, What characteristics does an excellent Sangiovese show off?
A, There are some organoleptic characteristics that truly make a great Sangiovese recognizable. First of all, the fruity aroma that boosts the acidity: cherry, amarena, blackberry and plum, together with a good freshness. Then the floral notes: violet, orris, rose. And at times, hints of caper, thyme, musk and forest floor – not as much as in a Nebbiolo, but well distinctive. A wine of extreme elegance that stands out for its bold, silky tannins. Sangiovese wines, especially from Maremma, are warm and round thanks to their alcohol content, but well-balanced. Ruby red color until four/five years old . The color becomes garnet with aging.
Q, Obviously, you think Sangiovese and Italian foods. Are there other good pairings for the wine?
A, For sure! Montecucco Sangiovese wines are a perfect pairing with spicy, but not bittersweet, Asian dishes. My wife is an Oriental cuisine expert and I had the chance to enjoy a good glass of Sangiovese with curry chicken – in particular, the authentic Chicken Tikka Masala – Korean grilled beacon, Soup Dumpling, Mushroom Biryani. The wines are also excellent with the North African recipes.
Q, What sets yours apart, or has kept the bar raised, in a region where so much Sangiovese is made?
Definitely the use of traditional winemaking techniques, in particular the fermentation in completely opened cement tanks where the destemmed Sangiovese grapes ferment together with a variable percentage of whole bunches of grapes, or also the submerged cap fermentation in steel tanks.
Q, This for the winemaker: How long have you been making wine and what is it about the craft that you most enjoy?
A, I have been growing vineyards since 1986 but I started making and bottling wines professionally in 1999. What do I like most? The harvest is always a challenge: no one is the same: We have to correctly interpret the grape ripeness and vinify it in order to make the best wine possible for each vintage.