Corte Alla Flora
Podere del Giuggiolo, Toscana Bianco IGT, 2013
A Perfect Pairing for the Sober, Natural Fare of Tuscany
Our regional focus for September is the medieval, picturesque hill town Montepulciano which sits atop the limestone ridge of Monte Poliziano, in the province of Sienna in southeastern Tuscany.
The commune was established by the Etruscans in the third century B.C.E., and to this day presents a visage that you would recognize from the paintings of the Tuscan Renaissance masters Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci. August, harmonically proportioned buildings made with the native travertine form of limestone are nestled together on a hilltop, and surrounded by softly sloping hills dotted with Cyprus trees.
Montepulciano sits in the middle of a fertile plain called the Val di Chiana, an area known for agriculture. Native crops include melon, beetroot, wheat, olives and wine-producing grapes.
The Corte alla Flora Estate is located due east of the town of Montepulciano. The winery was established in the early 1990s when Sergio Cragnotti, an Italian entrepreneur who made his fortune as CEO of the food conglomerate Cirio S.p.A., purchased a 300 acre parcel of land.
The Cragnotti family planted the land to olive groves and grapevines. They produce a portfolio of wines that includes Sangiovese based Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG and Rosso di Montepulciano DOC; as well as IGT wines made with international varietals including Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Corte alla Flora Estate is now one of the top ten producers in Montepulciano, with over 100 acres (35 hectares) of vineyard.
Our featured wine from the estate, Podere del Giuggiolo, Toscana Bianco, 2013 is made with equal parts of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Incrocio Manzoni Bianco (a cross between Riesling and Pinot Bianco).
The wine has a pale straw color and introduces itself with aromas of lemongrass and tangerine. On the palette the fruit is round and substantial, hitting notes of ripe citrus and flinty minerals, then moving toward a clean, precise finish.
Waverly Root, in his 1971 comprehensive gastronomic treatise The Food of Italy writes, “Tuscany as a whole prefers natural food, undisguised by elaborate artifice.” The Corte alla Flora, Podere del Giuggiolo, Toscana Bianco is wine suited to the fare preferred by Tuscans; whether it be Babbo’s Penne with Pesto di Noci, or a traditional Tuscan ribollita—the famous hearty soup of beans, local vegetables and Tuscan bread.