Azienda Agricola San Giuseppe (Stella di Campalto)
The estate is situated outside Castelnuovo dell’Abate, at the very southeast corner of the Montalcino zone. The heart and soul of the estate is its lovely clutch of top Brunello vineyards, including Vigna al Lecchio, Vigna Curva, Vigna al Sasso, Vigna Bassa, and Vigna All’ulivo, all of which sit between nine hundred and a thousand feet above sea level, with generally south-facing exposures (only Vigna All’ulivo has a westerly exposure and also has a small section classified solely for Rosso di Montalcino production). The vineyards are cared for and nurtured to produce the finest, most natural fruit possible. The cellar regimen at Stella di Campalto is designed to treat the wines as gently as possible to retain the individual vintage characteristics of the wines.
The San Giuseppe farm is a 33-acre property, 13 of which are planted with Sangiovese vines, and the rest is a natural forest and a grove of olive trees. The vineyard consists of one contiguous area that spans from 1,100 feet to 780 feet in altitude, divided into six unique sections, each with its own character. Stella prefers to keep her holdings small to maintain a close relationship with each vine and easily walk from cellar to vineyard.
Stella has practiced certified organic farming since 1996, and in 2005, she became certified for biodynamic farming. Most importantly, no chemical treatments have ever been used here as the land was abandoned for decades starting in the early 1940s. Grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed, and led by gravity into small wooden vats. Each of Stella’s vineyard plots is vinified separately on indigenous yeasts. The wines are aged from eighteen to twenty-two months, depending on the vintage, in a combination of barriques and larger botti in the cellar’s basement, which is located some 50 feet underground, so temperatures remain cool and constant. They are then bottled, unfined and unfiltered, by hand.
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