PODERE LE BONCIE, Castelnuovo Berardenga
We discovered Giovanna Morganti’s wine in the spring of 2000 in a wine shop in Gaiole-in-Chianti. Captivated by the ‘naïve’ label – drawn by Giovanna’s mother Lucia — we had to taste the wine, and it was glorious, pure, artful Chianti Classico. Thus began a journey to find the winemaker, and bring the wine to Ontario…
A year later we finally met Giovanna, and tasted more of her remarkable wines while learning about her process and her philosophy. She made only one wine — Chianti Classico ‘Le Trame’, and of course, she made so little that she had nothing to offer a new client. But she did introduce us to some like-minded friends – Giovanna Tiezzi & Stefano Borsa of Pâcina, and Fabrizio Tomas & Stephane Giesen who made the wines that were destined to become Plantamura and Valdibella. Really, we have Giovanna to thank for connecting us to several of the natural wineries we represent 15 years later. After visiting annually for 3 years, Giovanna realized we weren’t going away, and we were able to get a small allocation of 2001 ‘Le Trame’.
Podere Le Boncie is located in the hamlet of San Felice, a few km north of Castelnuovo Berardenga in Chianti Classico. ‘Le Trame’ roughly translates as ‘the intrigues’ — a subtle acknowledgement of the challenge involved in acquiring this remarkable 7-acre vineyard. Planted at very high density (7000 vines per hectare) the vineyard is primarily Sangiovese, with only a few rows of Colorino, Ciliegiolo, Mammolo, Prugnolo and bush-trained Fogliatonda for blending. A natural fermentation (indigenous yeast) takes place in small, open-top wooden tanks, followed by aging in 500-litre ‘tonneaux’ and 1500-litre ‘botti’. The vineyard is farmed organically and harvested by hand; production embraces biodynamic philosophy and non-interventionist methods. This is surely authentic Chianti Classico, impressive for its purity and grace. Le Trame is a structured, age-worthy wine. We recommend cellaring for at least 5 years after the vintage, preferably 10 years. You’ll be rewarded with personality, complexity and texture that are found only in the greatest Tuscan wines
In 2006, Giovanna acquired the rights to an exquisite 1.5-hectare vineyard she calls Chiesa Monti. Owned by the Church, it was never registered as a Chianti Classico vineyard, so the wine Giovanna produces from it – ‘5’ – is simply IGT Toscana. The name refers to the 5 grape varieties that make up the wine — Sangiovese, Mammolo, Colorino, Fogliatonda & Ciliegiolo. ‘5’ is treated in the same manner as Le Trame but aged for between 15 and 18 months, versus Le Trame's 24 months.
Giovanna is an outspoken advocate of natural farming and non-interventionist winemaking. Since the 2011 vintage, she has opted out of the Chianti Classico consorzio, labeling both her wines instead as IGT Toscana. This move was in reaction to recent changes that Giovanna believes (along with several of our other wineries) serve the large commercial producers, while no longer reflecting the quality and dedication of artisan wineries. These are thoughtfully produced, handcrafted wines made in very small lots.