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A Birth In The Family

Updated: May 4, 2019

Villa Palazzetta Vino Rosso 2017
Our baby. The birth of Villa Palazzetta Vino Rosso 2017!

We bought Villa Palazzetta because of its incredible location only five minutes walk from the historic city center. We also bought it because of the 270 degree views looking out over the Val D'Orcia a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's kind of like having a house in a national park.

But and extra bonus was that the property came with nearly 100 olive trees and 440 20-year old Sangiovese grape vines. The previous owner had planted the vines more than 20 years ago and made "contadino" or farmer wine for himself and his family and friends. Our vines are not "registered" Brunello vines so we can't make Brunello but they are basically the same grape. So we said, "That sounds fun, let's make some wine." You probably already know the rest of the story.

Our first harvest was before the restoration of Villa Palazzetta was complete in the fall of 2017. After pressing we had 440 liters of wine fermenting in the small cellar the previous owner had built into the hillside. We also had Matteo Turchi our native born Montalcinese grounds manager. And Lisa Jane, our property manager and concierge. Together they found Roberto an enologist/wine consultant who helps small property owners like us. He coached Matteo every step of the way. Well about 18 months after first harvest in September of 2017 we were ready to bottle our wine, complete with a beautiful label featuring a watercolor by Lee Riddell. We have 586 bottles!

And you know what? It's more than just drinkable, it's pretty darn good even if we do say so ourselves. A few other more knowledge folks have given it a thumbs up as well.

Our team of Matteo, Lisa Jane and Maria filled the bottles, put in the corks and put on the labels. We helped as much as we could without getting in the way. It was all done with a minimum amount of special equipment including a hand operated corking machine that Matteo found in his parents' basement. Below are a series of pictures showing you the process. All our guest at Villa Palazzetta will receive a complimentary bottle and we'll give it away to friends and family. We are not licensed to sell wine and don't intend to, but it is completely OK for us to give it away. Cheers!

Our bottling "team" of Lisa Jane, Matteo and Maria hard at work in our small cellar.

First the wine is pumped through a special filter to remove any coarse sediments.

The level of the wine is carefully adjusted to fill the bottle to just the right level.

Our vintage corking machine compresses the cork and a hand-operated lever pushes the cork into the bottle.

Bottles are stored in beautiful, collapsible wooden crates, keeping the bottles horizontal so the corks don't dry out.

Labels are added by hand as well.

What an adventure it's been. And the real pleasure of drinking a beautiful Sangiovese wine from our own vines still awaits!


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