Colle del Giglio (The Hill of the Lily). Why the lily? Well, during the breaking up for the plantation of new vineyards, an earthenware frieze reproducing a lily was dug out.
According to archaeologists it might be a motif made in Roman period; we don't know why it was there. Likely it was lost during a transportation, but a popular legend has it that once a magnificent imperial villa stood on these knolls...and, as legends are fascinating, Benito Amabili, decided to name his estate Tenuta del Colle del Giglio (The Lily Hill Estate). After all the lily has always been the noblest of all flowers, the symbol of beauty and fertility!
However, Mr.Amabili's bond with the land traces to his childhood when Amabili's great-grand-father, a landowner, infused Benito with the love and passion for land and wine. Benito is proud of this heritage and his dream and passion became a reality when he bought a small winery which was named Villa Ragnola after the brook Ragnola that boards the estate.
What in the beginning was a side business or just a hobby hatched something much more important and ambitious. It changed, developed, matured, became a passion, an engagement until in 2002.... Tenuta Colle del Giglio became operational.
The estate, located in the hills crowning San Benedetto del Tronto, consists of 120 hectares of land, partly vineyards and partly wooded. Each vineyard was carefully planned out and studied from a geologic, podologic, climatic, wine growing and producing point of view.
Many varieties of vines are present on the estate, from Montepulciano to Cabernet Sauvignon, from Merlot to Syrah, from Cabernet Franc to Sangiovese, from Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc.
The coexistence of so many typologies is favoured by a particularly optimum microclimate characteristic of this area. Another remarkable factor is the splendid Mediterranean scrub that frames the estate!
"Innovation in Tradition" is the motto of our winery. We do our very best to help nature with targeted and timely interventions, as only a modern viticulture respectful of the sacred principles of ecology can do!
"Somebody could speak of company's philosophy, mission, but I prefer to use simpler words which are better suited to me and the company: passion and willpower.
Passion, the key to everything. Only if you love the things you do and believe in what you do and push relentlessly you will succeed ; and if you can transmit your passion, your strong enthusiasm, then happiness is at hand. However, passion is not enough if it is not supported by a good deal of willpower as only willpower and determination can make a dream come true..."
Amabili's strong passion for land and the desire to produce his own wine grew too strong. A warm heart went into the making of a first class product and... Tenuta Colle del Giglio is now a reality !
Obstinate quality research, innovation in tradition, elegance and exclusiveness are the motto of Tenuta Colle del Giglio. Its products are evidence of this!
The vine: implantation and grape-harvesting
The 120 hectares of Tenuta Colle del Giglio are partly wooded and partly vineyards of different types of vines planted in successive periods.
Some of the vineyards have been there for decades as Montepulciano vine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Starting from 2002 these vines have been re-implanted adopting a more updated planning, that is high denseness of stumps per hectare, reducing the production quantity in favour of better quality.
There are also other types of international vines, such as Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Thanks to thorough pruning and thinning out, the production reaches about 3.5 tons per hectare, a quantity three or four times inferior to the regional average.
Thinning is made when the grapes change color. This enables us to anticipate maturation and concentrate the grapes substances in a limited number of bunches, with the obvious result of a better quality of the fruit.
Harvesting is carefully planned so that the perfect bunch can be picked at the right moment.
The grapes are harvested by hand and put into crates between the second and third decades of August for white wines (Chardonnay and Souvignon Blanc). For red wines the grapes are harvested from the first decade (early varieties such as Merlot and Syrah) to the last decade of October (late varieties such as Montepulciano and Cabernet Sauvignon).
Once harvested the bunches are further selected before the winemaking process.
In the winery: processing and fining
UMuch care is given to the processing of the grapes in the winery. As we already mentioned, the grapes are carefully selected on arrival and before the vinification process. The same care is dedicated to fining. Only new barriques are used and the long contact of the wine with the lees allows the extraction of aromas that give the wine its character; the fining of the bottled wines takes place in the winery in air-conditioned rooms and the wine is marketed only when it is perfectly mature.
The vinification process of white wines is different from that of the red ones.
Here is a short description of the main phases of both production processes.
Production process for white wines vinification
As in the case of red grapes, white grapes too are carefully selected before they are sent to the winery for vinification.
The previously cooled down grapes are conveyed directly to the press and pressing is the first phase of the vinification process when the liquid fraction is separated from the solid ones. Only about 30% of the must is used and put in stainless steel tanks and then conveyed to the next processing phases.
Once the natural decantation is over, the alcoholic fermentation starts at a controlled temperature lower than 20°C, exactly 16/18°C. At this point the fermentation of Chardonnay continues in barriques, and the fermentation of Sauvignon continues in stainless steel containers.
Once the natural fermentation is completed, the product is kept in contact with the lees for a period varying according to the characteristics of the wine. The length of the period depends on the time the components of the micro-organisms' lysed cells need for their transmission.
Fining is the last phase. As already mentioned, depending on the type of wine fining starts either in barriques or in stainless steel containers, but it always ends in a bottle. The fining period varies from 6 months for Sauvignon, up to one year for Chardonnay.
Production process for red wines vinification
When the grapes arrive at the winery, the picking of the grapes from the bunch takes place. In this phase the grape stalks are separated from the grapes and the grapes are lightly pressed. The product obtained is pumped into the 'fermentino'. The two next phases start: fermentation and maceration.
The must undergoes alcoholic fermentation and, through the maceration process of the skins the RIMONTAGGI and the wine pressing take place to aid the dissolution of the substances contained in the skins. The frequency of these operations varies according to the characteristics of the grapes and the results desired. The temperature of maceration is 24-26°C and the process lasts from 40 to 50 days.
Once fermentation and the required period of maceration are over, the racking off starts to separate the liquid fraction from the solid parts. When the marcs have been separated from the liquid part, they are conveyed to the press. The wine that appears cloudy after the racking off process is stocked in stainless steel containers for one or two days to allow the separation from the gross lees.
Casking is the next phase. The wine with its fine lees is put in 225 and 160 litre barriques where it will rest from 12 to 18 months depending on the type of wine. The lees, which deposit at the bottom of the barriques, are stirred weekly using the batonnage technique.
The temperature of the cellar is kept constant at about 20°C to help malolactic fermentation.
Besides the ageing in barriques, the wine is further fined in the bottle for 12 months. Now the wine is ready to be enjoyed.
Tenuta Colle del Giglio use the "batonnage" technique for some of their products.
Batonnage originates from France and consists in the mixing of the wine inside the small barrels (barrique) by means of a mixing stick ( baton in French) that moves the lees, i.e. the sediments which settle at the bottom, causing them to come to the surface in suspension. "Batonnage" is done for a few minutes weekly for at least six months. The 'baton' is a steel bar with some chains attached to its end, so that all the parts of the barrique can be reached by rotating it.
The use of this technique improves the quality of the wine as, besides giving it a better structure, it increases its elegance, the aroma complexity and flavor. The wines treated with this technique tend to be more delicate, less astringent, with less aggressive tannins while, at the same time, mellow and wrapping. Batonnage gives the wine more body and improves its longevity.
If quality research, cultivation methods, skill and professional competence are of the utmost importance, Tenuta Colle del Giglio also does its very best in packaging.
Elegant wooden boxes have been chosen to package the elegant bottles. Quality research is a full range research. Nothing is left to chance, packaging included!