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Vermentino Pian di Seta: the origin of the best white wine of tuscany. The Monterufoli label wins Mundus Vini 2024

  • 05/04/2024

It's an elegant wine, distinctly mineral yet sophisticated, fresh, and aromatic at the same time. And now it's also the "Best White Wine of Tuscany": the Verme​ntino Pian di Seta from Monterufoli has been awarded the prestigious Mundus Vini - The Grand International Wine Award. This recognition seals an oenological project that has been the focus of great commitment on all fronts at the Monterufoli estate, telling a story of identity and territory. We spoke with the protagonists behind this achievement: Marco Castignani, Head of External Relations and Communication at Tenute del Cerro, Emanuele Nardi, wine maker, and Franco Fierli, agronomist.

 

Vermentino Pian di Seta: a precious wine born from great work

The story of Vermentino Pian di Seta from Monterufoli originates in the inland Maremma area, characterized by gentle hilly terrain with loamy-clay soils and a significant presence of limestone. It's precisely this structure that is found in the wine glass, the result of a series of processes that, in addition to the natural characteristics of the land where the Vermentino grapes are cultivated, include research, innovati​on, and investments aimed at achieving the perfect combination of aroma and taste. At the Villetta di Monterufoli Estate, they have always believed in this, ever since the project for Vermentino began in 1998. Since then, varietal research has gone hand in hand with the development of precision ag​ricultural techniques, offering tailored solutions to the specific needs of individual plants. Franco Fierli, the agronomist at Tenute del Cerro, explains how technological innovations play a crucial role in this process of creating a great wine like Vermentino Pian di Seta. It's no coincidence that the company has equipped itself with automated irrigation systems which, as he explains, "transmit data related to temperature and humidity levels through weather stations and send real-time alerts about any water stress the plants may be experiencing. It's a form of emergency irrigation". 

Another important aspect that the group has been focusing on for some time is its green footprint: "It has been about ten years since we stopped using chemical fertilizers. Instead, we rely solely on organic formulations and prioritize organic products. We intervene only in the event of potential pathogenic attacks, and even then, we always use natural products that not only keep pests away but also strengthen the plants and make them more resistant to potential threats."

Another fundamental aspect along the Vermentino production process is the harvesting method. As Fierli explains: "In our estates, we strictly harvest by hand, always in the early morning because timing also significantly affects the quality of the raw material: grapes picked in the morning have a lower temperature, which favors the fermentation process."

Naturally, in such a meticulous production process, attention to the soil and its characteristics is of paramount importance. On this front, Tenute del Cerro's commitment focuses on a minimally invasive approach, as the agronomist explains: "To make the soil more porous, we use special cultivator blades that break up the soil pan while maintaining the top grass layer." These types of measures represent the company's response to counteracting the effects of climate change: "Having soil with a good level of porosity allows us to maintain the soil in excellent condition and preserve adequate hydration levels." This approach ensures that the crops remain safe and healthy even during extreme weather events such as heavy rainstorms or prolonged periods of drought. 

But at Tenute del Cerro, sustainability doesn't just concern cultivation procedures: the company applies this concept to all aspects of production, especially to labor, as Fierli emphasizes. "We have sought to focus on highly qualified professionals, and skilled labor makes a difference on all fronts."

 

The soul of the territory in the history of the name 

Behind a great achievement like winning the Mundus Vini award, there are always years of work, along with an innovative approach capable of enhancing a great terroir, such as that which characterizes Vermentino. In this perspective, the work carried out at Tenuta di Monterufoli Estate holds double value because, in addition to providing a quality recognition to one of the flagship productions, it certifies its value in a particularly broad market. Marco Castignani emphasizes this point:

"The award holds great value because it identifies us not only as a land of red wines like Brunello, Sagrantino, Vino Nobile, and Chianti, but it represents recognition for the work done to enhance all the in​digenous grape present in our estates. Our Vermentino has been recognized as the 'Best White Wine of Tuscany' in a production segment that is significant for us."

The Vermentino Pian di Seta is an important part of the company's history and identity, an element that even in its name expresses an iconic feature, a detail that, as Castignani explains, intertwines with the toponymy of the territory: "I am particularly proud of this name because I proposed it with the aim of telling the elegance of this wine by playing with the toponyms of our vineyards. The result is a name that aims to describe the dual soul of Vermentino: on one hand, the typical minerality of its main notes, and on the other hand, the refinement of its aromas".

"It's a wine that finds its stylistic signature in its great versatility: thanks to the combination of freshness and more robust notes, our Pian di Seta is suitable for various occasions, from important aperitifs to full meals."

 

And it's precisely about characteristics and pairings that wine maker Emanuele Nardi has spoken to us about. In presenting this special wine, he emphasized: "We sought to enhance the peculiarities of the Verme​ntino from Monterufoli by opting for a production linked to the territory with the aim of highlighting the aromas that Tenuta di Monterufoli grapes gave us. The result is a 100% Vermentino: although the production regulations of the IGT allow the use of up to 15% of another grape variety, we chose to focus on a single-variety formula because it was important for this wine to bring to the tasting the characteristics of this area historically characterized by a subsoil rich in minerals". What flavors does Pian di Seta pair well with? Let's discover together.

 

Vermentino Pian di Seta at the table: unexpected pairings 

Vermentino Pian di Seta from Monterufoli owes its versatility to a very rich aromatic profile, as explained by Emanuele Nardi: "It ranges from notes of white flowers and white-fleshed fruit to hints reminiscent of hydrocarbons, which characterize wines produced from grapes grown on highly mineral soils."

In addition to these elements, there are those derived from the particular aging techniques employed. "This wine," the wine maker specifies, "has also undergone aging in barrels, which contributes to some particularly spicy notes. The result is a wine with a broad and smooth palate, with excellent structure deriving its great sapidity from the characteristics of the soil. The rich mineral sensations also perfectly balance the mouthfeel."

Vermentino Pian di Seta isn't only aged in wood but also in the bottle: "Contrary to what happens with white wines," Nardi explains, "we deliberately included a period of about six months in glass to rebalance and enrich the nose".

Naturally, the most classic pairing for Vermentino is seafood, but due to its nature, Pian di Seta pairs well with both classic recipes and those with more robust flavors: it's excellent with red mullet in tomato sauce, grilled fish, and sautéed shellfish, but it also pairs perfectly with dis​​hes featuring spicy white meat such as chicken curry or dishes flavored with turmeric or paprika". A selection worth trying.

 

Icon of elegance and aromatic solidity, Vermentino Pian di Seta from Monterufoli has won the Mundus Vini 2024 Award, becoming the best white wine of Tuscany, an accolade that writes a new chapter in the history of Tenute del Cerro. Are you ready to taste it?​​​

 

 

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