Tag Archives: Ornellaia

Ornellaia: the 2022 harvest is underway

Predictions would indicate smaller quantities, yet potential top quality if the weather stays fair

The 2022 harvest is now underway at Ornellaia. On 25 August, the first red grapes started to be gathered as confirmation of the precociousness already observed for the white grapes, whose harvest began on 9 August.

After the first few days of harvesting Sauvignon Blanc, carried out at night to preserve the utmost integrity and aromas of the fruit, the long awaited mid-August storms began. The plentiful rainfall slightly slowed the ripening, providing us with an opportunity to finish gathering the Sauvignon and Viognier with peace of mind. Merlot and Vermentino were the next varieties to be harvested. The precociousness is a logical consequence of an abnormal season,” observes Axel Heinz, Estate Director.

Heat and drought proved hugely challenging for the 2022 vintage. Key elements for correctly interpreting the harvest have been the agronomical decisions implemented to manage the soil and the vine canopy. Nevertheless, all the elements remain in place for a quality vintage: veraison in superb circumstances, limited natural grape production and potentially concentrated grapes.

“From this moment on and over the next few days, it will be extremely important to pinpoint with even more precision the harvest date for each variety and each vineyard parcel. Right now, our first impressions give the idea of a harvest that is unlikely to be abundant, but – if the weather stays fine – the vintage has high-profile potential. Making predictions is always very delicate and complicated, however. We are all too aware that realistic and concrete opinions can only be shaped after the grapes have arrived in the cellar,” concludes Heinz.

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg for Ornellaia Vendemmia D’Artista 2019 “Il Vigore”

Charity auction supporting the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s “Mind’s Eye” program

From 5th to 19th October 2022

The charity auction of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2019 “Il Vigore” organized by Sotheby’s gets underway from 5th to 19th October. Swedish artists Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg designed this vintage’s special labels and this year’s proceeds will once more go to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the “Mind’s Eye” program.

Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Chairman, Sotheby’s Wine says: “This is our twelve partnership with Ornellaia for their annual Vendemmia d’Artista project, which is so special to us because it supports worthy artistic causes and combines the brilliance of the estate’s wines with the visual ingenuity of the artists who take part. We look forward to presenting a range of bottles from the 2019 vintage “Il Vigore” later this year, headlined, as ever, by a unique Salmanazar. With its emphasis on the senses, the Mind’s Eye program has been the ideal beneficiary and, as in previous years, we expect these exclusive bottles to attract international interest from collectors eager to also enjoy the unique experiences on offer.”

Since 2019, the proceeds from the Vendemmia d’Artista charity auction have been donated to support this innovative program, which was created by the Guggenheim’s education department to help the blind and low-vision visitors to experiment with art by the fullest use of the senses.

This enables the development of creative impressions, emotional connections and lasting memories. As in all the arts, the appreciation of fine wines also necessitates the total engagement of the senses. Sharing this idea caused Ornellaia to support the growth of this innovative program.

Ornellaia’s generosity has provided for the expansion of Mind’s Eye, connecting participants across the globe through virtual programs, states Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum. “In the last three years, our knowledge has allowed Guggenheim New York to increase accessibility both to the museum and to works of art through multi-sensorial exploration. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Ornellaia.”

The Guggenheim stands out as an innovative institution for its commitment to accessibility and building the Mind’s Eye Community. Digitalization has enabled Mind’s Eye to reach a vast public from many countries around the world through its Sensory Guide to the Guggenheim New York or through Verbal Descriptions that use specific language to convey a visual experience for artworks and the unique architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. 

The proceeds raised have allowed the program to be extended to the two other museums in the Guggenheim constellation, Venice and Bilbao, hence bestowing international prestige on the program.

For this reason, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of the Ornellaia estate, is excited to state: “Since the beginning of Vendemmia d’Artista in 2009, we have donated the proceeds from the auction to charity. It is immensely rewarding to see the project grow internationally and to know that the work we are doing gives the blind and low-vision persons the possibility to explore contemporary art through the senses. This sensibility has always been a key part of our philosophy.”

The genius loci of Bolgheri in the bright reflections of Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2020

Ornellaia is proud to present the 2020 vintage of Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia, which is enhanced by the Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia Ambassadors project that pays tribute to its relationship with the sea and land to which it belongs.

In Tuscany, wine is often regarded as red by definition. “And yet”, Axel Heinz, Estate Director, explains “with a clear vision, patient research into the best soil and aspect, a suitable selection of the varieties to be planted and a constant commitment to cultivating the vines with care and attention, we are certain that the genius loci of this unique land can also be conveyed in the straw yellow colour of our white wines.”

Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia owes its elegant Mediterranean style to the special microclimate that distinguishes the estate.

The 2020 vintage was characterized by a rainy yet mild winter. The budbreak occurred later than usual, shielding the vines from any frost damage. A still wet June was followed by a hot, dry summer. The harvest took place earlier, in the first half of August for the Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Verdicchio, while we were able to wait until September for the perfect ripening of the Vermentino. “The earlier harvest and the absence of particular water stress, due to the water reserves accumulated in June, enabled the grapes to convey all their hallmark aromas, especially the Sauvignon Blanc,Axel Heinz remarked. 

The winemaking and ageing must support the balance that distinguishes Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia, without distorting it, in addition to accentuating the texture, without making it heavier. In so doing, the bright colours and refined aromas are kept intact.

The practical winemaking choices are aimed at acquiring additional balance, layers of complexity that allow the wine to withstand the test of time and reveal its deepest soul and the ultimate expression of the terroir with the passing of the years.

The wine is made by gently pressing the grapes, followed by the decision to decant and allow half the wine to age in steel tanks, while the remaining half ages in barriques. The wine subsequently spends six months on the lees with bâtonnage.

The winemaker Olga Fusari, who is particularly attached to Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia and who has witnessed the revival in conjunction with its maiden vintage led by Ornellaia’s technical team, explains. “With its bright straw yellow colour, Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2020 displays beautiful aromatic complexity on the nose: woodland and white flowers, accompanied by white peach, sage and herbal notes, are released in the glass. On tasting, the wine fills the palate with elegance and decisiveness, showing the right balance between freshness, acidity and density. The finish is vibrant, lasting and on the savoury side.” 

The release of the 2020 vintage is also accompanied by the Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia Ambassadors project. This initiative is devoted to the Mediterranean Sea and Italian excellence. The ambassadors, who come from all over the peninsula and beyond, having been selected for their creativity and the quality of their cuisine, have created recipes that pair perfectly with Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. The chefs that have taken part to this project are Daniele and Andrea Zazzeri, La Pineta in Marina di Bibbona, Gennaro Esposito, La Torre del Saracino in Vico Equense, Andrea Migliaccio and Salvatore Elefante, Il Riccio in Capri, Emanuele Riccobono, Ristorante Zagara in Sciacca, Pietro d’Agostino, La Capinera in Taormina, Enzo Florio, Da Tuccino in Polignano a Mare, Roberto Gatto, Cip’s Club in Venice, Domenico Soranno, Langosteria in Paraggi e infine Antonio Colaianni, Ristorante Ornellaia in Zurich. Their dishes reflect the same salinity of the sea that can be found in Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia, which has always borne witness to the evolution of mankind and its connection with a land that yields the centuries-old wisdom of time and patience.

IL VIGORE – Ornellaia 2019

The vigour of the vines interpreted through the visual brilliance 

of artists Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg

Ornellaia is delighted to reveal Il Vigore (‘Vigour’)the latest Vendemmia d’Artista dedicated to Ornellaia 2019 and thus described by Estate Director Axel Heinz: “Il Vigore is the strength of the healthy growth of the vines. It is the active vigour of mind and body. It is the character of a wine that captivates the senses and projects the flavour into a natural landscape of energy, power, strength and vitality. The flavours, aromatic nuances and the body of the wine transport it into a spiritual dimension, where the power of nature is central to the experience.”

The 2019 vintage provided the inspiration, characterized by highly variable conditions interspersed with cold, wet spells and long periods of heat and drought. After a changeable spring and an almost perfect summer, the lower temperatures at the end of September resulted in wines of great finesse and aromatic abundance. This is a powerful, mysterious and intriguing wine, whose first sip does not reveal all its facets, but envelops the palate, curious to grasp its myriad nuances.

The Vendemmia d’Artista project took root from this inspiration to celebrate the unique character of every season on a yearly basis. Some of these exquisite labels will be sold during the Sotheby’s online auction scheduled from 5th to 19th October 2022 before being delivered to lucky collectors. Since 2019, profits have been donated to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to support the innovative Mind’s Eye program. 

Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, explains: Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista is a pioneering project, which involves the ensemble of wine and art to support charitable work. This October will be our 14th collaboration with the estate on this exceptional project. When we started this venture, we had no idea that it would lead to a multitude of charitable projects in the wine world. Our clients around the world always await with trepidation the opportunity to take part in the auction and to purchase unique bottles, knowing that they are supporting a noble cause that facilitates access to art for the blind and low-vision persons. The combination between the extraordinary wines from the estate and the visual brilliance of the participating artists has proven to be an irresistible pairing, which will be illustrated this year for the 2019 vintage, “Il Vigore”, with the designs of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg.

The chosen artists based their work on the theme of metamorphosis, the cycles of nature and its transformation, as well as the relationship between humans and the Earth. These concepts are expressed in a project that evolves from the design developed for the 750 ml and 3-litre labels to sculptures for the large 6-litre and 9-litre formats.

The finger, depicted on the 750ml label, which leaves a print on the Earth, is a fine representation of the wine, which sparks curiosity and a desire to reveal itself gradually before leaving a tangible impression in a lingering tasting experience. In the glass, connoisseurs discover the energy that nature gives to plants and humans, but in particular to the region that expresses itself as lifeblood: the lifeblood of Il Vigore.

The estate’s winemaker Olga Fusari describes Ornellaia 2019 as a wine “having a deep ruby red colour, with a rich bouquet of intriguing spiced and balsamic notes, including black pepper, sage and herbal aromas. The wine is full bodied and vibrant in the mouth, filling the palate with its dense and elegant tannins, and ends with an enduring and wonderfully refreshing finish”. 

The amounts collected through the Vendemmia d’Artista project enables the programme’s expansion to all museums in the Guggenheim constellation (New York, Venice, Bilbao). “Ornellaia’s generosity has provided for the expansion of Mind’s Eye, connecting participants across the globe through virtual programs,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “Our learnings over the past three years have enabled the Guggenheim to increase accessibility to both place and to works of art through multisensory exploration.  We are grateful for the ongoing support of Ornellaia.”

Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia estate, is also delighted to state that: “Since the introduction of Vendemmia d’Artista in 2009, we have donated more than 2 million dollars to art charity. It’s immensely rewarding to see the project grow internationally and to know that the work we are doing gives the possibility for the blind and low-vision people to discover contemporary art by using the senses.”

Soon a new address in Bordeaux for Masseto, Ornellaia, Tenuta Luce and CastelGiocondo

Masseto, Ornellaia, Tenuta Luce and CastelGiocondo are opening a representative office in the city of Bordeaux, aimed at strengthening their worldwide sales network, starting with the French stronghold of fine wines. 

The prestigious Tuscan estates are set to open a representative office in 2022

The first wine estates in Italy to make such an investment.

Masseto, in 2009, was the first Italian wine to be distributed through La Place de Bordeaux. Ornellaia followed suit in 2015. In the wake of their success, in 2019 Tenuta Luce and in 2021 CastelGiocondo Brunello also embraced the international distribution of La Place de Bordeaux. Since 2009, this choice has resulted in ever increasing results. The Négociants boast a centuries-long history of the sale of fine wines at an international level.

“Making top-tier wines is not enough,” explains Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Frescobaldi group. “Knowing how to communicate this quality and choosing the perfect distribution is essential. By considering these years with La Place de Bordeaux as the first step and examining potential sales growth, it now seems logical for us to open a representative office in Bordeaux. Our goal is to strengthen our position by developing a deeper and more integrated relationship with the Négociants, no longer working from a distance, but in close contact with our partners.”

This stimulating challenge has been entrusted to Patrick Lachapèle who will take on the role of Director of the representative office, returning to France after 16 years in Asia where he worked as Asia-Pacific Export Manager for Baron Philippe de Rothschild and then as Director Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and South America for Ornellaia and Tenuta Luce. Patrick will work alongside the commercial directors of the four estates, which will remain individually managed.

The new office will be operational in the first quarter of 2022.

***

Masseto wines are available to all markets through La Place de Bordeaux with the exception of Italy, United States and Canada where Masseto retains direct distribution. Ornellaia wines are available as well through La Place de Bordeaux with the exception of Europe, United States and Canada.

In the case of Tenuta Luce, La Place de Bordeaux holds the distribution in Asia (with the exception of Japan), Africa and Middle East meanwhile CastelGiocondo is available with the Négociants in China only.

2021 Growing Year in Italy: What to expect

The life-force of the vine vs climate changes

High quality anticipated in the wine-cellar

Harvest is literally upon us with some white grapes already safely in the cellar and several red grape varieties being picked at this very moment. But it’s still too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the 2021 harvest, since producers up and down the peninsula are still relying on predictions. Which, however, are encouragingly positive.

Let’s give a brief overview of the growing season. The weather brought three distinctive phenomena that had critical impacts. A spring freeze plunged temperatures that delayed bud-break and shoot growth by some 10 days, whose effects are still being felt in the current ripening stage, while the south suffered under water deprivation and the north was hit by torrential rains. The common thread that emerged from these challenges, though, was the current outstanding health status and overall quality of the fruit, a situation that augurs well for fine wines from 2021. Delivering the best results seem to have been the most ecologically-sensitive vineyard operations and precision agricultural practices, approaches that protect and express terroir in the face of increasingly threatening climate changes.   

We asked producers from north to south what they thought and how they were managing to transform climate threats into quality outcomes.

NORTH

In Trentino, at the historic San Leonardo wine estate, owner Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga reports that “the year opened cold and very rainy, which tried us no end. Then, in early August, the weather really began to smile on us, and we are continuing even now to enjoy fabulous, sunny days, with significant day-night temperature differentials as wide as 18oC. If September follows the same pattern, we have a realistic hope of bringing in a truly superb harvest.” 

Over in Lombardy, in the Oltrepò Pavese hills, the 200 hectares of Conte Vistarino allow a clear picture of overall prospects for the general area. Ottavia Giorgi enthuses: “We have extreme expectations for this harvest, which promises to be even better than we could imagine.” Brimming groundwater reserves, crisp spring weather, painstaking attention to vine-row vegetation, and a healthy status of the clusters harken back to the 2018 season, while the tannins look to be finer-grained than in preceding years. The white grapes are currently exhibiting outstanding pH and acidities, which bodes well for the sparkling base wines as well. “We are expecting very heightened aromatics and crisp acidities in our Pinot Noir, a gift of those quite wide temperature differentials in the hot summer months.”  

TUSCANY

In the Colli Fiorentini, just outside Florence, at Torre a Cona, Niccolò Rossi di Montelera has expectations for “a good quality vintage but for a crop smaller than in 2019 and 2020. Reflecting this growing season’s characteristics, the harvest will kick off slightly later than in previous vintages, beginning with Merlot in the latter half of September, while Sangiovese and Colorino will wait until the end of the month.” 

At Castello di Brolio, one of Chianti Classico’s iconic estates, Francesco Ricasoli explains that the year has brought a one-two punch of freezes and hot spells. “Still, our white grapes, which were picked already in late August, are superb, in both quality and quantity. We expect to bring in our Sangiovese around mid-September; the crop will be down a bit, but quality definitely up. Cluster size is somewhat small, as in 2017, but they show deeper colour, aromatic intensity, and better concentration.” 

Just a few kilometres away, Giovanni Mazzei underscores that the current season “is yet more proof of our vines’ ability to withstand challenging weather conditions thrown at them.” In particular, in the Siepi zone, “where deep soils and a high percentage of clay help retain much more moisture than other areas, a generous water supply for the roots and wide day-night temperature ranges are ensuring excellent ripeness levels.”    

At Castello di Querceto in Greve in Chianti, the unfavourable weather phenomena reduced the crop load by about 10%. Alessandro François is cautious about making any definitive judgments. While waiting to see what the next few weeks will bring, he says that “quality looks very good, but our Sangiovese growing at 400-520 metres still needs more time.”

The heat spells impacted Gaiole in Chianti, too, but director Luca Vitiello of Bertinga explains that “good canopy management protected the clusters and careful ground-working allowed the vines to recently complete veraison, a bit late perhaps, but with no excessive stress. These are the foundations for an excellent harvest, which we are looking for in the next days of September for the Merlot vineyards and the first half of October for Sangiovese.”  

Moving into Montalcino, Emilia Nardi, owner of Tenute Silvio Nardi, tells us that “thanks to our 2020 post-harvest operations, the vines enjoyed a plentiful supply of water, which allowed them to handle this season’s lack of it. Right now, the fruit shows surprisingly good balance and the vines good canopy development.”

Heading towards the Tuscan coast, where the vineyards of the Tenuta di Ghizzano lie in the Pisan hills, Ginevra Venerosi Pesciolini declares herself satisfied, since “the white grape varieties are in very good shape indeed. For some of the reds, however, the situation is somewhat more complicated. The Merlot is already in the cellar, and the quality seems quite high, but we’re hoping for a bit more rain, which would give our Sangiovese perfect phenolic ripeness.” Rains have already been of providential help this year, and “our clay-rich soils were able to absorb the rains we saw in May, which helped the vines cope with the summer drought.”   

In Riparbella, the just-emerging Colline Albelle operation uses one of its tools, dry-farming, to prevent heat stress. Winery director and winemaker Julian Renaud explains that “we also mow the cover-crop in mid-May, leaving everything on the ground, we keep canes short to prevent evapo-transpiration, do no leaf-pulling, and we utilise biodynamic preparations. All that helps us maintain optimal balance in the vineyards and a very gradual ripening process. This year, we expect about a 15-day delay in starting our harvest.” 

Along the same coast, in Bolgheri, Ornellaia director Axel Heinz, notes that its unique configuration of quite deep soils with high percentages of clay and limestone encourages the vine roots to go deep in search of water, which helps them resist the long stretches of dryness here. In addition, “Our sunny, dry conditions help the early-developing white varieties to fully ripen.” And finally, a drop in temperatures created “ideal conditions for the final stage of ripening, thus giving the red varieties all the time they needed to reach perfect ripeness.”

In the Maremma, the Fattoria Le Pupille team can draw a sigh of relief at what promises at this moment to be a great vintage. “The rains in mid-July gave us a welcome boost, relieving the heat stress and bringing the growing year to a blessed close.” A stance of hope, therefore, from Ettore Rizzi, estate agronomist and oenologist of the estate founded by Elisabetta Geppetti.

Also in the Maremma is Castello di Vicarello, where the hillslope position of the vineyards was proof against the spring freezes, and in the summer ensured them cool night-time temperatures that warded off heat stress. Brando Baccheschi Berti evinces pronounced satisfaction over fruit quality: “Wonderful acidities and full berries, proof that our old, deep-rooted vines are holding up well. My impression is that it’s going to be a beautiful vintage.” 

In the Val d’Orcia, finally, with benchmark operation Tenuta di Trinoro, a textbook-perfect vintage is expected. Here, too, the difficult weather brought challenges, but director Calogero Portannese expresses strong confidence in those “significant day-night temperature variations, which encouraged impressively-high quality in the fruit. Still, the harvest is a ways off yet, and we have to wait to see what autumn will finally bring us.”  

SICILY and SARDINIA

Over the sea in Sardinia’s Gallura district, Massimo Ruggero, managing director of Siddùra, explains that the area did experience the spring freezes, but the impact was not severe, “thanks to our particular climate here in this valley, our crop was down just slightly compared to the previous year. Overall grape health is good, and the final crop should almost equal that of 2020.” 

Let’s conclude our journey in Sicily. Mount Etna suffered a torrid, dry summer, and Vincenzo Lo Mauro, director of Passopisciaro, helped the vines by supplying night-time emergency irrigation. “The Chardonnay harvest started early, right after mid-August. The grapes were in wonderful condition, heathy and aromatic, and they’ll give us a very intense, firm-structured wine. Regarding the reds, we’re hoping the heat will drop and that we’ll receive some rainfall, which will help them get to that perfect point of ripeness.”

And now, there’s nothing we can do but wait.

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019

Style and identity in the name of Bolgheri, released to market on 1 September

Ornellaia presents the 2019 vintage of Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, produced by the prestigious Bolgheri estate as an expression of the dedication in the vineyard, with a careful attention to every single detail in the cellar.

The precious cuvée of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blends the individual traits of each varietal in a complex synergy of aromas. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia has honed its identity year after year and is now an important and enjoyable expression of the appellation.

“Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019 is a product of the attention paid to every stage in the winemaking, which enabled us to maximize the aromatic potential of the grapes,” explains Axel Heinz, Estate Director. “The result is a smooth and silky wine with elegant tannins and a lengthy, savoury finish.”

The wine stands out for its immediacy and vivacity, without ever losing sight of the estate style. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia also reveals the character of the vintage a few months prior to the release of its elder sibling, Ornellaia.

The 2019 vintage was distinguished by variable weather conditions, alternating between cold spells and extended hot and dry periods. Following a winter within seasonal averages, budbreak occurred in the first week in April, but the cold, rainy conditions throughout April and May delayed the flowering. The summer proved to be hot and sunny with above-average temperatures and a lack of precipitation. The rainfall towards the end of July returned temperatures to the seasonal norm, creating optimal conditions for ripening the grapes.

The change between sunny and wet spells accelerated the ripening and especially the development of the skins. Softer and more permeable than usual, the grape skins guaranteed optimal colour and tannin extraction. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019 is currently characterised by “fresh notes of ripe red fruit, accompanied by a lively balsamic vein and the allure of cypress berries and eucalyptus,” comments Ornellaia’s winemaker, Olga Fusari.

The 2019 harvest of the red grapes started on 5 September before continuing into the first week in October, due to the cool temperatures and night breeze ensured by the closeness to the coast. The grapes, which were gathered by hand, underwent further culling on a double selection table in the cellar. In addition to manual selection, optical selection was also introduced in 2016, which ensures the perfection of every single grape after being destemmed. 

Every variety and parcel is vinified separately. The malolactic fermentation begins in steel and is completed in barriques where the wine is left to age for about 15 months. The wines are blended after 12 months in the barriques, allowing the individual varietals to give their maximum contribution to the expression of the vintage and the appellation. 

The impressive synergy between the verticality and freshness of the Cabernets, the rounder and deeper character of the Merlot and the body of the Petit Verdot make “Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia” a complex wine with a typical Bolgheri identity, elegance and considerable ageing potential.

Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2019

All the elegance of the Mediterranean

Upbeat and generous is how Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2019 makes an appearance after a year in the cellar divided between wood, concrete and steel and 12 months bottle ageing. Predominantly Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Vermentino and Verdicchio, this Ornellaia white wine is an elegant expression of the care and style maintained by the estate. The grapes grow in small parcels along the Tuscan coast surrounded by Mediterranean shrub, gravel lanes and maritime pines.

“Poggio alle Gazze 2019 is the result of a late harvest,” winemaker Olga Fusari comments. “The extended harvest times proved favourable to the aromatic expression of the wine, which we find in the intense notes of citrus and exotic fruit accompanied by scent of freshly mowed grass and asparagus. The palate is vibrant and refreshing with a lingering mineral finish.”

2019 was characterised by highly variable conditions, which alternated periods of cold and rain with bouts of drought and heat, resulting in a ten-day delay in the budbreak. Growth resumed in June after long, sunny days. The weather remained fine for the rest of the summer, with the exception of two days of rain in late July, which restored the temperatures to the seasonal average and provided perfect conditions for the gradual and full ripening of the bunches. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest began on 19th of August and continued until the first days of September, while the Vermentino and Verdicchio, as later ripening varieties, reached peak maturity in mid-September.

The care taken with the grapes and their growth in the vineyard before cellaring reflect a deep respect for the ecosystem aimed at maintaining its stability, nurturing the integrity of the soil and the self-regulation of the vines. Everything at Ornellaia is done with attention and awareness centred on sustainability, which includes vineyard management at nature’s pace and the wellbeing of the winery’s employees.

Combined with the coastal microclimate, these elements result in the uniquely personable wines produced at Ornellaia: a chorus of multiple voices that convey the beauty, influence of the sea and light. The winemaking processes pay the utmost respect to the grapes and the result is always beguiling. “Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia owes its elegant Mediterranean style to the unique microclimate that we have here at Ornellaia,” Estate Director Axel Heinz explains. “This authentic gift of nature enables us to craft a wine that vaunts a sumptuous body with ripe, fruity notes in a style of great finesse, which is the hallmark of Ornellaia.”

After this long journey from vineyard to bottle, the 2019 vintage will occupy centre stage in a new project in the finest restaurants along the Italian coast. For “Ambasciatori di Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia” (Ambassadors of Poggio alle Gazze), 10 chefs will devise a special dish to showcase the personality of the wine. The restaurants will include a vertical tasting of four vintages of Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia on the wine list and an especially paired recipe on the menu.

Ornellaia Bianco 2018

The latest vintage of Ornellaia’s signature white is released to the market.

Say Ornellaia and shades of ruby red and silky texture spring to mind, but there’s another side to the Bolgheri winery, a limited-edition jewel that serves as the alter ego of the Tuscan wine sharing the same name: Ornellaia Bianco. This year, the 2018 vintage is being released to market. 

An intriguing and balanced cuvée in a deep shade of straw yellow, Ornellaia Bianco interprets the spirit of the Bolgheri estate with the grace and light that define this bucolic place. The grapes originate from a unique mélange of land: three small north-facing parcels, woven among the red-grape vineyards, which bestow a crystalline quality and hints of the Mediterranean shrub, sea breezes and a sumptuous style on the wine. Ornellaia Bianco stands as testimony to Bolgheri’s undeniable capacity to grow white varietals.

Ornellaia Bianco 2018, a Sauvignon Blanc-led blend with a touch of Viognier, displays “aromas of exotic fruit accompanied by mild hints of finely roasted vanilla, with a rich and fragrant palate perfectly balanced by a savoury tanginess,” comments the estate’s winemaker, Olga Fusari.

“2018 was rather harmonious, consisting of rain and sunshine in useful and necessary measures,” explains Estate Director Axel Heinz. The spring nurtured and revived the canopy with many showers, which was duly replaced by a summer of sunshine, in which the area’s typical breeze kept the vines healthy and dry. “In August, the various microclimates were accentuated by scattered showers,” Heinz continues. “This resulted in marked differences in the ripening stages of the grapes, which we harvested at very different times, starting after the 15th of August and continuing until the 13th of September. It was perhaps the longest harvest in the history of Ornellaia.

This wine is a product of meticulously harvested grapes picked in several stages before being fermented and set aside to refine for 10 months on the lees. Ornellaia Bianco does not undergo malolactic fermentation, therefore enabling its fresh character and Mediterranean identity to shine through. 

The desire to convey the estate’s exceptional qualities has shaped Ornellaia’s philosophy since the beginning, and Ornellaia Bianco 2018 keeps the banner flying high, ready to inspire wine enthusiasts with evocative images of the beautiful Tuscan coast.

Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2019

 

Vibrant and expressive, released on 1st March

Many components define the style of Ornellaia, the renowned Bolgheri estate, but the underlying philosophy is reflected in all the wines produced on the estate. Le Volte dell’Ornellaia is no exception. A predominantly Merlot-based cuvée, Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2019 is “a vibrant, expressive and well-balanced wine, the perfect introduction to Ornellaia for every wine lover”,according to estate director,Axel Heinz.

2019 was characterized by a highly variable climate, which alternated cold and wet spells with long bouts of drought and heat. After a normal winter, budbreak took place in the first week of April. The rainy conditions throughout April and May slightly delayed flowering compared to usual, but plant development recovered in June due to bright days. All summer long, the weather remained hot and sunny, except for two days of rain in late July, which readjusted the temperature to the seasonal norm with ideal conditions for the gradual and complete ripening of the grapes.

The harvest began with the Merlot on 5th September and the last of the Cabernet reached the cellar on 4th October. As usual, in the last week of September, falling temperatures preserved the vintage’s finesse and aromatic freshness. The different grapes were fermented separately in small steel tanks in order to maintain their varietal characteristics. The wine was then aged for 10 months, partly in barriques used previously for Ornellaia and partly in concrete tanks.

Versatile and immediate, “Le Volte dell’Ornellaia combines a Mediterranean expression of generosity with structure and complexity,” winemaker Olga Fusari comments. “With its bright ruby red, intense scents of red berries and rose petals are clearly distinguishable on the nose, while on the palate the taste is full-bodied and enveloping, characterized by dense tannins and a vibrant acidity which make this a pleasing and enjoyable wine”. Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2019 will be available on all markets, ready to bring joy to wine lovers on these early sun-filled days.

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