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This is just an excuse to remember the summer and our trip to Tuscany before the autumn finally arrives. One of the highlights was our visit to the Salcheto Vineyards, near Montepulciano. This vineyard has completely reinvented itself in the last 5 years and this has had an amazing effect on the wines that they make.
Salcheto devotes itself to organic and sustainable methods of making wine. General Manager, Mario Turrini came to the vineyard with a mission to adopt sustainable practices and it has taken 5 years to do so, not to mention considerable investment and a bit of ingenuity. Many of the methods now employed at Salcheto are new and revolutionary. A great deal of thought was employed to maximise sustainability. The three storey winery is sympathetically built into the hillside and all of the lighting is provided through light tubes, no additional lighting is provided in the lower areas. Incidentally at harvest time the patio area is used to sort the grapes and start the pressing process. The grape juice is then passed down pipes that are fed through the light tubes. The pipes then fill the vats below. The vines are grown under bio-diverse conditions and they even have their own bees to help pollination and to make honey of course. Heating is provided sustainably by using the cuttings from the vines. Mario Turrini is also very realistic and states ‘Sustainability starts with a quality product that is sold at the right price. If the vineyard is not profitable it is not sustainable’. Salcheto wines offer great quality and great value.
Salco means the willow tree in the ancient Tuscan language. An important plant for wine territories as throughout history its branches were used to bind the vines. Salcheto (Sal-k-et-o) is the name of the stream that winds through a valley and is the boundary of the estate. The vineyard is rooted in the historic district of Vino Nobile, in the southeast of the Siena province of Tuscany. The willow tree also contributes to the winery’s energy independence and is today prominently represented in their logo as part of the commitment to environmental sustainability.
That now leaves us to look at the wines. Three of the Salcheto wines are currently imported into the UK. A Chianti, a Vino Noble di Montepulciano and a very special version of the Vino Noble which they affectionately refer to as the ‘Salco’ and comes from a specific area of the vineyard. The vineyard and wines enjoy the DOCG classification.
The Salcheto Chianti Colli Senesi is a fantastic wine and priced at under a tenner this is stunning value. Chianti is currently unfashionable and therefore the makers need to work much harder to get a following, it is for this reason that I love unfashionable wines! The Chianti is a dark ruby in colour. On the nose cherries, red berry and spicy notes. These flavours blossom on the palate along with notes of liquorice, and it is very smooth. A long elegant finish. This is a very easy drinking wine. It is to be drunk young, drinking well now or over the next 2-3 years. Predominantly the Sangiovese Grape it goes very well with lamb or beef, also great with pasta and tomato bases sauces.
Salcheto also produce a range of phosphate free wines, if this is something you would be interested in please let us know.