CASTELLO di POTENTINO, Seggiano
The family of author Graham Greene has owned properties in the Tuscan region of Maremma for over 40 years. In 1989 they began restoration of the magnificent Castello di Montepò near Scansano, establishing vineyards and a winery where Charlotte became winemaker. Ten years later, the estate was sold to Jacopo Biondi Santi of the illustrious Montalcino family.
In 2000, the Greenes purchased the 11th century Castello di Potentino, located at the foot of Tuscany’s highest peak, Monte Amiata, 30 km from Montalcino, where they have undertaken a remarkable restoration of the castle, planted vineyards and tend 100-year-old olive trees. In 2009, Potentino withdrew from the local Montecucco DOC, which siblings Charlotte Horton & Alexander Greene believe serves the purposes of commercial producers rather than artisans. Charlotte’s wines are intended to “stimulate the intelligence of the palate”.
Castello di Potentino has 10 acres of low-density vineyards planted to Sangiovese, Pinot Noir and Alicante (Grenache). The vineyards are tended by hand, farmed organically — though they’re not certified (another philosophical choice) — and only native yeast is used for fermentation. Charlotte opts for 5000-litre ‘botti’ rather than barriques during fermentation and maturation to avoid overpowering the delicate fruit. Her wines are not fined or filtered prior to bottling to preserve the aromatics and complexity, and very low levels of sulfur are used. The wines reflect the delicate touch of a female winemaker - elegant, energetic, kaleidoscopic, gracious...
These are handcrafted, natural wines that possess a 'sense of place' reflecting the valley’s volcanic soils, maritime & alpine climatic influences, and the diverse agricultural heritage that defines this remarkable locale.
To view the Modern Times Review interview with Charlotte Horton on taste, ecology, democracy and anarchy, click here