The Valle brothers - Umberto and Bernardo - bought the Poggio Trevvalle estate in 1998, bringing to Tuscany their years of grape growing experience built up in Puglia. Their aim was to make wines that would truly reflect the grape variety, the vineyards themselves and the winemaking traditions of the territory: honest, artisan wines that have clear links to the place they come from.
The Poggio Trevvalle winery is in Maremma, a large geographical area in South West Tuscany.
Poggio Trevvalle is the name given to part of a hill (80 m. above sea level) situated 500 meters to the southeast of the village called Arcille, which is located halfway between the small, medieval town of Campagnatico and the city of Grosseto, capital of the Province. The farm is situated in the foothills of Mount Amiata (1783 m. above sea level, 20 miles east of the farm as the crow flies), just a few hundred meters from the confluence of the River Ombrone and the Trasubbie creek.
From a geological point of view, the soil of Poggio Trevvalle has its origins in the sedimentation occurring between the Upper Miocene and the Pliocene (Zanclean - Piacenzian) epochs. The soil is composed of Pliocene marine deposits (conglomerates) which contributes to giving Poggio Trevvalle’s organic wines an unmistakable, slightly salty note.
The estate covers 18 hectares of which approximately 13.5 hectares are vineyards. Most of the vineyards, about 10 hectares, are planted in the loam-clay soil of the gentler, south-facing slope of the Poggio Trevvalle hill. These vineyards yield organic wines that are round and generous.
The remaining 3.5 hectares of vineyards are planted on the north-facing slope of the hill, which is steeper and has a slightly more clayey soil and from which come organic wines with more vigour and elegance.
Over 90 % of the vineyards are planted with Sangiovese, the remaining being planted with Alicante (Grenache), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The number of plants per hectare ranges from 3,000 (in the oldest vineyards) to 6,000 (in the vineyards planted since the year 2000), and they are mostly trained to form a ‘Cordon de Royat’. With this method the vines have a short trunk with a single, permanent branch (cordon) that is trained along a wire to one side of the vine. Two and a half hectares of vines are trained using the single Guyot system, a cane-pruned system with spurs.
The vineyards are listed both in the D.O.C.G. register of Morellino di Scansano vineyards as well as in that of Montecucco vineyards, reflecting the exceptional viticultural potential of the farm.
Most of the grapes harvested (about 75 %) are allocated to the production of different types of Morellino di Scansano D.O.C.G. wine. The rest of the harvest is allotted to the production of Montecucco Rosso D.O.C. wine and I.G.T. Toscana Rosso (Tuscan Red Wine) and I.G.T. Toscana Rosato wines (Tuscan Rosè Wine).
ORGANIC FARMING, BIODYNAMIC FARMING
The entire production of Poggio Trevvalle has been certified BIO since 1999.
Choosing to practice certified organic agriculture means commitment to the protection of environmental biodiversity and farming the soils without polluting the land or water.
Poggio Trevvalle has also adopted biodynamic agricultural methods for many years without, however, certification.
According to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, the fertility and vitality of the land must be obtained and maintained by natural means: compost produced from solid, farmyard manure, green manure as fertilizer, crop rotation, mechanical pest control and pesticides made from mineral and vegetable substances.
Working in this way farmers maintain and increase the biological activity of the soil so that the plants grow naturally, fed by a healthy soil ecosystem.
In an organic farm the soil is naturally fertile and well structured with plenty of micro flora and micro fauna. This ensures that the vines grow in symbiosis with the environment and therefore produce grapes that can truly express the nature of the territory in which they are cultivated. On the contrary, conventional vine growing farming places the emphasis on getting the best crop in terms of both quality and quantity by using chemical fertilizers, herbicides (that annihilate the soil’s micro flora and fauna) and systemic fungicides that work their way up into the vine plant to the grapes, thus producing ‘perfect’ bunches that have, however, lost part or all of what bonds them to the nature of the surrounding territory.
In a certified organic winery it is prohibited to use certain substances and carry out oenological practices that are, in contrast, allowed in conventional winemaking in order to increase the keeping qualities (storage life), stability or other qualities of the wine. The following procedures, for example, are not allowed in certified organic wine-making: partial concentration by cooling, elimination of sulphur dioxide through physical procedures, partial de-alcoholization of the wine, micro-biological stabilization (using sorbic acid, lysozyme etc.), acidification of the wine (using L-malic acid), tartaric stabilization (using electrodialysis treatment or carboxymethylcellulose), color stabilization (using yeast mannoproteins) or colour adjusting (using polyvinylpolypyrrolidone) and so on.
Some of the substances used in conventional wine-making are also allowed in a certified organic winery – but they have to have certified organic origins. Rectified concentrated grape must, yeast cells, active dried yeast, fresh yeast, edible gelatin, vegetable protein obtained from wheat or peas, fish gelatin, egg albumin are examples of substances that can be used in certified organic wine-making as well as in conventional wine-making.
In the Poggio Trevvalle winery none of these substances are used so as to create a wine that fully reflects its ‘terroir’ and it is a pleasure to drink.
Poggio Trevvalle, entrance to the organic wine celler
Poggio Trevvalle, organic wines maturing in wooden casks and barriques