After an uneventful flight into Rome, I took a two-hour train ride from Rome Tiburna train station to Chiusi, where I was greeted by Elisabetta and Giulia Frangiosa from Cantina Antico Colle. Elisabetta is the wife of current owner Andrea Frangiosa, and his daughter Giulia represents the upcoming third generation moving into the business. Andrea’s father Giuseppe still enjoys working at the 30-hectare estate as well, supporting his son’s drive and passion.
Antico Colle is an important partner of both Kindred Vines Import Co and Woodberry Wine and is an impressive and constantly improving winery in Montepulciano, Italy. Montepulciano is located in the Provence of Siena, in southern Tuscany and the area is famous for wine production and boasts the warmest micro climate in Tuscany. In 1980 Montepulciano was one of the first 4 wine regions in Italy to receive DOCG status.
The estate is beautiful – Andrea and Elisabetta’s home overlooks a beautiful valley with the historic town of Montepulciano situated gracefully on a hill on the horizon and is a short ten-minute drive away. Many of the vineyards this time of the year are changing color and are a beautiful golden hue. In the morning, a stunning valley fog hugs the earth.
After I settled into my room, Giulia led me through a tasting of the new vintages of Toscana Rosso, Chianti Colle Sinesi, Rosso di Montepulciano, and Vino Nobile Montepulciano (many wine connoisseurs consider Vino Nobile amongst Italy’s best wines) which we currently import and distribute in the United States. The wines are extremely well balanced, with muted cherry notes and all shared a nice finish. I also reviewed the Il Sagio Reserva Vino Nobile Montepulciano 2012, a very special wine that Antico Colle fans will love. By law, wines must consist of at least 70% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) and be aged in oak 2 years to be considered Vino Nobile and three years to be considered Riserva.
The front labels on the wines were redesigned recently with the artwork created by Elisabetta herself, the grapes on the front of the bottle representing the 3 generations of family that are working in the vineyards and producing wine. While the vineyard has been in operation for all of Andrea’s life, Antico Colle’s first vintage was not until 2003. The wines have only improved in quality and quantity ever since.
Following our tasting, Giulia and Andrea collected our bottles and we went to dinner at Ristorante Nottola in Montepulciano, experiencing the wines with many regional specialties including wild boar, grilled vegetables, and truffle pasta. Simple, hearty food paired with these extraordinarily refined food friendly wines was a real treat.
We stopped by the cellar and production facility, which has expanded smartly under Andrea’s leadership and I was able to see Kindred Vines most recently ordered pallet of wine order ready to ship to the United States. I am truly proud to represent this producer and his family which has tremendous market potential in the United States.
(Dan, Giulia, Elisabetta)
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