Poggio Antico is located in Montalcino, a small town in Tuscany about fifty kilometers south of Siena. The earliest written records of the estate date from the beginning of the 19th century, when the present boundaries were marked. At that time, the estate consisted of woodland, grassland, and three stone houses. The development of Poggio Antico started in the late 1970s, when electricity was brought in, vineyards were planted, and construction of the wine cellar began.
The estate was purchased in 1984 by Giancarlo and Nuccia Gloder, originally from Milan, who had fallen in love with the wines of Montalcino and the unique geographical position of Poggio Antico. They had become enchanted with the beauty of this particular area of Tuscany after purchasing a smaller property in the area with olive groves and woods, but no vineyards.
Their youngest daughter, Paola, has managed Poggio Antico since 1987. Her husband, Alberto Montefiori, joined her in this task in 1998.
Claudio Ferretti supervises the cellar and the vineyards, and Lia Rocchi is responsible for the warehouse.
The estate includes about 200 hectares (500 acres) of beautiful woods, fields, olive groves and vineyards.
Located at an average altitude of approximately 450 meters (1,476 feet) above sea level, Poggio Antico is one of the highest altitude producers of Brunello. The steady breezes at this altitude sweep away morning and evening fogs and early frosts, and dry the grapes after every rain, thereby preventing the development of mold and allowing us to avoid anti-mold chemical treatments. This highly privileged position and sunny vineyards facing south to southwest guarantee optimum growing conditions, particularly during the crucial maturation period when the grapes gradually reach a perfect balance between sugar and acidity.
The calcareous and rocky soil ensures perfect drainage and is particularly suited for growing the high quality grapes necessary for full-bodied wines such as Brunello. The unique combination of altitude, positioning, and soil quality give Poggio Antico wines their special character and elegance.
About 32.5 hectares (80 acres) of the estate are under vine. Of these, 15.5 hectares (38 acres) date from the '70s and are in the process of being uprooted and replanted in order to increase the plant density, which used to be 3,300 vines per hectare (1,350 vines per acre) and in the new vineyards is now 6,060 (2,453 vines per acre). To meet the sustained and increasing request for Poggio Antico wines, a decision was made to expand the vineyard surface area rather than increase the yields which would have reduced quality. Consequently, another 17 hectares (42 acres) were planted in May 1997 and May 2001.
Of the total surface of the vineyards, 30 hectares (74 acres) are planted with Sangiovese and 2.5 hectares (6.00 acres) with Cabernet Sauvignon, which has been planted in 1997 to be blended with Sangiovese for our new wine Madre.
From the start our objective has been high quality. Hard work in the vineyards and modern technology in the cellar are combined to produce the following wines:
Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
Altero - Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G. Riserva
Madre, I.G.T Toscana
Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C.
The grapes are of the Sangiovese variety, also called Brunello in Montalcino. This clone's characteristics include a low productivity and a high content of extractive substances in the skin, thanks to the soil and the particularly favorable microclimate of Montalcino.
Only the best of these grapes make it through the rigorous three-step pruning process during the growing year. The first selection occurs in the spring, when the vines start budding. Shoots in excess are sacrificed in order to strengthen those that are left to grow. A second selection, called "green harvest," takes place in July, when some of the bunches are removed so that the remainder can ripen better. The third selection takes place about ten days before the harvest: each single bunch is checked by our full-time trained staff who leave only the best to enjoy the last days of sunshine and concentrated nutrition. Moreover, this prevents the harvest crew picking the grapes that would not reach our quality standards.
Plastic crates are used for transport from the vineyards to the cellar in order to prevent damage to the grapes. Because the cellar is located in the geographic center of the property, the grapes travel only a minimum distance before being processed.
To ensure the best quality, yields are kept intentionally low and may vary - even considerably - from year to year depending on the characteristics of each vintage. The production per hectare does not, in any case, exceed 50 quintals of grapes per hectare (2,00 metric tons per acre), although the regulations for Brunello di Montalcino allow up to 80 quintals per hectare (3.4 metric tons per acre).
Total annual wine production averages 75-80,000 bottles (about 6,500 cases). Starting with the 2001 vintage, the total production increases to 90-95,000 bottles (about 7,700 cases) thanks to new vineyards.
July 2002 marked the end of the construction project for the new wing of the cellar. The increased production requires more room for winemaking, storage and bottle aging. The cylindrical vats that were used in the past have been completely replaced by 23 truncated cone-shaped stainless steel tanks with removable lids. These new fermentation tanks were used for the first time with the 2000 vintage. Their unique features are their relatively small size and a skin "push down" system, operated semi-mechanically that substitutes the more common process called "pump-over". The result is a further improved extraction of color, fruit and sweet tannins. The whole process is much more delicate since pumps are not used and the cap is completely broken. All steel tanks are computer controlled to ensure that the fermentation temperature does not exceed 32° C (90° F).
To increase space for bottle aging before release, three air-conditioned and humidity-controlled rooms have been built, bringing the total storage capacity to 450,000 bottles.
In the natural cool of the underground cellar, there are both new Slavonian oak barrels and French 500-liter tonneaux. The two sizes of barrels affect bouquet and tannin differently, so they may be alternated to differentiate the wines.