The winery was the first in the region to go in the way of organic and biodynamic growing already in the mid-90'ies, and Maurizia and Luca have followed in the footsteps of their father. These people really live like that, too. They drive a Prius and are completely unpretentious even though they can boast the fact they live in a castle! In any case, the property is preserved old-style with no intention of glamourising it.
Here you see the vineyard in April just before the bud-break - Panzano in the back-ground. Vines are planted densely to create competition and promote quality. Being in Chianti Classico, this is the wine that is primarily made in the cellar, so most vineyards are grown to Sangiovese. But there is also Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc & Malvasia.
A detail of the property in the month of July...
And here you see the vines in July when the canopy has developed fully, and now the next step is to capture the rays of the sun and transform them into sugar inside the grapes.
To protect the plants, fresh spring water and manure is "dynamized" inside this biodynamic system that moves the water around in circular motions to activate enzymes and create natural sprays to apply to the vines in the vineyard to vitalise plants and protect them the natural way.
A relatively new feature in Castello dei Rampolla is the reintroduction of cement vats for ageing and then the use of terracotta vases like this one to make a completely natural wine that has no addition of sulphites.
The cellar master is Marcus.
Maurizia is a busy lady, but when she does find the time to do a wine tour with us it is the most outstanding experience. She's incredibly down to earth and fun to be with. She evidently loves the wines and enjoys sharing the experience.
The wines made are Trebianco (a white wine made in the style of a red wine), Chianti Classico made with Sangiovese with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Sammarco (takes its name from a third sibling who passed in an accident) which is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon and one of the historical Super Tuscans. Ultimately d'Alceo (named after the father's vineyard) made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot - this is celebrated wine since it was first released in very limited quantities, even reaching 100 points with the 2008 vintage!
This is the Alceo vineyard.
Castello dei Rampolla wines are distributed and can be found in a lot of different countries. Just in case you want to get your hands on some of that 2008 100 point vintage, you can ship it from here: www.tuscany-in-a-bottle.com.