Bolgheri DOC

Bolgheri is, above all, a state of mind, a way of life, the rarefied atmosphere of a world thought to no longer exist. As in a mosaic, the single pieces which compose it are of precious materials and colors, but observing them one by one there is no perception of the overall picture. Nature here remains in a pristine state; woods dominate the hillsides which, running parallel to the coast, protect it from winter's worst cold. And, to the west, sparkles the blue of the sea, a sea which mitigates with its breezes the dog day heat of July and August. The vineyards, often wedged into the green of forest spaces or of ancient olive groves, dominates, together with the silent whistling of the wind, a landscape drawn discretely by the human hand. The population is warm and welcoming, smiling and happy to share with curious visitors the lovley life it daily leads. The hamlets and vllages have been well preserved, without any concessions to touristpleasing gimmicks: walking through their narrow streets, one immediately feels the presence of real and genuine life, human in its scale, free and stress and frenzy. Even culture has its proper role, with well calculated events never out of scale with local life. But the most precious pieces of all in this mosaic are the wines of this territory, wines which made the history of the recent Italian winemaking and which perfectly match the local cuisine. Fragrant wines, complex, generous, wines which give voice to the territory above and beyond the grapes of their blend. With them the mosaic is complete, a fascinating picture has been composed. Behind the label of that elegant and complex red, the natural and spontaneous joy of this part of Tuscany, of Italy, can be felt. The label evokes an entire world, a world which has always been part of our dreams, but which exists and is real. The visits to the vineyard, to the cellars, to the medieval hamlets, to the hillsides and to the sea, the tastings with the producers, make it quite clear to what extent this world exists and is real and concrete, one which can be touched and experienced. And to taste the wines of Bolgheri after a visit, after this experience, at home or anywhere in the world, will bring back the memories of these sensations, will breathe new life into them, will reawaken the desire to live them, as intensely as possible, once again.

"But the most precious pieces of all in this mosaic are the wines of this territory, wines which made the history of the recent Italian winemaking and which perfectly match the local cuisine. Fragrant wines, complex, generous, wines which give voice to the territory above and beyond the grapes of their blend."

 

 

 

 

 

Territory

The first Vineyard of Bolgheri Sassicaia was planted in Castiglioncello di Bolgheri in 1944

 

 

Geography and climate

The production area runs parallel to the beaches of the Tuscan coast, located in the province of Livorno, in the town of Castagneto Carducci. To the east, a chain of hills runs parallel to the shore, between Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci, protecting the vineyards from the winter winds. In the summer, on the other hand, this corridor is swept by cool winds that are generated between the valleys of the Cecina river to the north, and the Cornia stream to the south.
The elders used to say that you couldn't make great wines close to the sea. For this reason, the first Sassicaia vineyard was planted in 1944 in Castiglioncello di Bolgheri, facing east at an altitude of 400 m. above sea level. Today, it has been shown that vicinity to the sea is precisely what makes great wines. The highest-quality vineyards are all at the feet of the hills and in the plane between Bolgheri and the southern part of Castagneto. The cool winds which come from the sea, and the moderate temperature range in August and September provoke slow and regular maturation of all of the qualitative components of the grapes: sugars, polyphenols and fragrances, and contribute to keeping the acidity high, which is necessary in order to give balance to the wines.
The Bolgheri microclimate receives a great deal of light: in addition to direct sunlight, the land benefits from the effects of the reflection of light from the stretch of sea located to the west. The average annual temperature is approximately 14C, with 18.6C from April to September, 7.5C from December to January, and 24C in August. Average annual rainfall is approximately 600mm, with rain that is welldistributed statistically: more abundant during the vegetative growth, less frequent during the period of maturation of the fruit, and then abundant again after the harvest. The driest month is July.

Geology

The soils in Bolgheri have a great variety in a relatively limited area. There are alluvial soils, of fluvial origin, with round pebbles deposited by the ancient waterways. The name Bolgheri Sassicaia (from sasso, meaning rock in italian) comes precisely from this characteristic. There are soils which originated from the sea, with Aeolian sands, limestone and clay. And also volcanic rock which comes from the Metalliferous Hills to the east. Thus, we find soil which is clayey, clayey-sandy or sandy-clayey, clayey-muddy, or completely sandy. As a result, the water reserves and nutritive elements vary significantly from one area to another. These soils are found on terraces at different levels, such that on average, the general structure succeeds in maintaining the humidity at a deep level, and returning it during the dry periods. Three major areas can be found: the hills, the intermediate area, and the area close to the sea. On the hills we find the oldest alluvial deposits. The pebbly alluvion is also characterized by a significant presence of iron oxide. Further down, the fluvial deposits are younger, and to the west, they mix with the marine deposits.

Vineyard and vines

The density of cultivation in the vineyards is very variable. The oldest have a density of 5,500-6,000 grapevines per hectare, while some of the most recent reach the level of 10,000 grapevines per hectare, and require the use of long arm tractors. Most of the new cultivation systems have a density of approximately 7,000 grapevines per hectare. The predominant cultivation system is the cordon spur system, but there are also examples of guyot, and even free-standing systems(gobelet). The most important varieties, obviously, are those whose vocation was amply demonstrated by Sassicaia first, and other historical varieties later, such as Ornellaia, Grattamacco, Macchiole, Guado al Tasso, and Satta. This means Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The experimentation which has now been taking place for almost twenty years, has shown the great potential of other varieties such as Syrah and Petit Verdot. And sometimes Sangiovese too has given excellent results. For white wines, Vermentino is currently the most planted. Sauvignon Blanc, after changing fortunes, is recovering a highly-qualitative dimension, and is often accompanied by Viognier.

 

 

 

Regolations

"The Consortium is the official body recognized by the Ministry of Food Products and Forestry Policies as the authority for the protection and the promotion of the DOC Bolgheri and DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia wines"

DOC Bolgheri

- 0-100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 0-100% Merlot
- 0-100% Cabernet Franc
- 0-50% Syrah
- 0-50% Sangiovese
- < 30% complementary (Petit Verdot, etc)

Maximum yield 90 q.li/ha
The wine may be released only after the 1 September on the year following harvest

 

DOC Bolgheri Superiore

- 0-100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 0-100% Merlot
- 0-100% Cabernet Franc
- 0-50% Syrah
- 0-50% Sangiovese
- < 30% complementary (Petit Verdot, etc)

Maximum yield 80 q.li/ha
The wine has to be aged at least 2 years calculated from the 1 January of the year following harvest, of which at least one in oak barrels

 

DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia

Minimum 80% Cabernet Sauvignon
Maximum yield 70 q.li/ha
The wine has to be aged at least 2 years calculated from the 1 January of the year following harvest, of which at least 18 months in 225 l barriques


DOC BOLGHERI        DOC BOLGHERI SASSICAIA

 

 

 

 

Wines

The wines are generally based on a blend of Cabernet (both Sauvignon and Franc) and Merlot, often accompanied by Syrah, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese sometimes. In the last years the number of single variety cru, made with the three main grapes, is increasing. We are always dealing with intense red wines with a dark ruby, often impenetrable, color and with a very important aging ability. The aromas are characterized by black berry fruit, ripe and sweet, with balsamic notes of Mediterranean brush, typical of the Bolgheri terroir. On the palate there is a striking suppleness and softness; the sweetness of the fruit, perceptible on the mid-palate, is always freshened and by a tonic acidity and by a ripe, dense tannic texture, with an excellent length. Even when the structure is a powerful one, the wines, for this reason, are always balanced and harmonious. Just below the level of Bolgheri Sassicaia, Bolgheri Superiore, and the great IGT wines we find Bolgheri Rosso. These are wines which give exceptional drinking pleasure wines which are soft, elegant, and ripe in character, less demanding and ambitious compared to the "Superiore" category, but always capable of accompanying, with much pleasure, flavourful dishes of red meat and game. It is important to note that a good part of the Bolgheri vineyards are still relatively young. This means that the quality level of the current production can only continue to improve over time with a greater vine age. It is for this reason that the international wine press unanimously maintains that Bolgheri has a "giant" potential yet to express.

 

Red Wines

Unique and unforgettable, they are the main
ambassadors of Bolgheri in the world

Ros Wines

An historic tipology in the territory
 

White Wines

Most of these wines
have a fresh and fragrant style

 

Vintages

Choose the vintage to see in the list below.

 

 

 

 

Producers

At the present moment, the producers who are members of the Consortium are 40. The Consortium represents 92% of the overall total registered vineyard surface in the appellation. The data of the official census of the vineyard surface, completed in February 2013, are the following: 1.205,51 hectares (2.979 acres) planted within the appellation borders. Of this, 1.108,08 hectares (2.737 acres) belong to consortium members; 1014,36 hectares (2.505 acres) are registered to the appellation, while the remaining acreage is registered to the production of IGT (Typical Geographical Indication) wine. Concering the DOC surface, the division among the different red grape varieties is the following: Cabernet Sauvignon 42,34% , Merlot 25,07%, Cabernet Franc 9,41%, Petit Verdot 6,04%, Syrah 6,93%, Sangiovese 1,82%. While the white grapes are: Vermentino 6,70%, Viognier 0,52 % and Sauvignon Blanc 0,33 %.