When we talk about wine, we tell a story, and talking about this winery in Montalcino is an adventure. Today, we want to share our experience regarding one of the best Brunello wineries to visit: Podere le Ripi. This is the story of the realization of a dream, a winery, an ecosystem, a living organism, a biodynamic vineyard in the heart of the Tuscan hills.
But first, let us immerse ourselves…
Winery in the UNESCO World Heritage site Orcia Valley
The road leading up to Podere le Ripi is surrounded by artistic green valleys, and villas you thought could only exist in your dreams. They transform you into the main character of a charming Italian film. As you drive down Via Cassia, a historic Roman path south of Siena, while passing through Buonconvento, you begin to perceive the atmosphere that characterizes this blessed area. As you arrive at the quaint town, you will be greeted by the smooth hills of the Val d’Orcia.
Montalcino doesn’t just stand out for its beauty. It is home to one of the most full-bodied wines in Tuscany: Brunello di Montalcino. Enchanted by the views while following the road to Castelnuovo dell’Abate, we turned left onto a dirt steep road that led us directly to the winery. It is fully immersed in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Orcia Valley.
The story and its main characters
This story begins In 1984, when Francesco Illy, a member of the espresso coffee maker’s family, fell in love with Montalcino. As a wine lover and a nature photographer, he decided to find a place in this unique landscape. In 1998, advised by his friend, he bought this terroir composed of perfumes that pervade all year long. It has views of Monticchiello and Montepulciano to the east, and the prehistoric volcano Monte Amiata to the south.
Beginning as a dream, and understanding the importance of aesthetic, ethic, economic, ecological and social impact, he decided to build a sustainability model, with the aforementioned themes at the core of this project.
This dream became reality also thanks to the young team of people who work at Podere le Ripi. They describe themselves more as a group of friends, who constantly learn from each other. They preform their job with happiness and effort, all while sharing their land and wines with great pleasure.
The tasting – The land and the wines
When we arrived at Podere le Ripi, we were greeted by Giulia. She walked us through the land while describing the characteristics of the place, and introducing us to the animals that live in the farmhouse. She then explained their Demeter certified biodynamic philosophy, and how the land is the protagonist in this scenario. We were breath taken both by the philosophy and the panorama!
Afterwards, we admired the winery, a circular structure made with bricks. A complex detailed creation, where the wine is treated gently only by using gravity.
By now we were ready to taste their wines! The vineyards are divided between the two different sides of Montalcino: East and West. It was in this order that Giulia organized our tasting, and open our doors to their Brunello di Montalcino.
From the eastern mineral antique zone, we started off with “Amore e Magia” , a 2017 full intensity Sangiovese Brunello di Montalcino, which presents volcanic debris due to the vicinity of Monte Amiata. From the western area we tasted “Cielo D’Ulisse”, a 2017 Brunello di Montalcino which presented the characteristics that come with the younger land of the west, dominated by clay and limestone.
It is possible to enjoy a private tour 7 days a week through reservation. Our concierge services team will be happy to assist you between the different programs. We highly recommend it as one of the best Brunello wineries to visit, not just for the wine, but for the whole experience!
Private villas near Montalcino