In his review of Tenuta Il Poggione’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino, Antonio Galloni noted that “The Brunello is made from four vineyards ranging from 250 to 400 meters in altitude, all in Sant’Angelo in Colle.” This is very important because, as you know well, altitude is fundamental for growing grapes for fine wines. You need the altitude so that there will be cooler temperatures in the evening during the summer that allow the grapes to mature more gradually and gently. If it is too hot at night the grapes will mature too quickly and they will “cook”.
In this post on Understanding Brunello terroir using Google Earth part III, there is another very important aspect evidenced to demonstrate how the terroir of Sant’Angelo in Colle is unique and special.
The top yellow pin indicates Montalcino. The center yellow pin indicates Sant’Angelo in the southernmost subzone of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation. And the bottom yellow pin indicates Mt. Amiata that arrives to 1,700 meters above sea level.
Note how close Sant’Angelo is in reality to the sea and note also how Mt. Amiata provides a sort of “shield” to the south of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation which helps to protect our lands from inclement weather.
But the most important thing to note is how there is a natural “corridor” that rises up from the sea at the bottom left of the map to Sant’Angelo. One of the interesting things about Google Earth is how it will tell you the altitude of a position where you point the arrow of your computer. Download and install Google Earth: If you pull your cursor along the natural corridor that I have indicated, you can see how the altitudes rise from zero meters above sea level at the sea at the bottom of the corridor up to 400 meters.
This natural corridor brings the cool and dry breezes up from the sea to our vineyards. This is very important for our fruits: the dry sea breeze help us to reduce mildew and rot in our vineyard and the ventilation that they provide help us to preserve freshness in our wines.
This are some of the important aspects which create the unique growing conditions that represent the Brunello di Montalcino terroir and in particular the subzone of Sant’Angelo in Colle that we think to be the best.