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Tenuta Chiappini - Bolgheri

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

There is always so much to visit in a such beautiful and historical area like Bolgheri. One afternoon ( September 2019 ) we had planned a visit to the Tenuta Argentiera , one of the largest producers. But before the appointment we drove by another inviting winery, the beautiful entrance was calling us to get in to visit.



It was the Tenuta Chiappini. That is the beauty of driving by a vineyard filled land; the possibility to find a diamond in the rough; may be unknown to most.


As we drove through the dirt road, passed the entrance gate, we could admire the olive trees that announced a production of olive oil. The beautiful smell of the grass and the olive trees and the vineyards with plants still with grapes on it. "It must be Cabernet Sauvignon"; I thought as it is a late ripener.


We noticed an outside patio, it was quite, with free wooden tables although i could hear the voice of few people few hundreds feet away, sitting on comfortable couches. They were a large group of American tourists, the familiar language made me smile.


A young woman withblack hair, welcomed us, she introduced herself as Giovanni ( the “Tenuta” founder ) daughter: Lisa.


We told her to taste some of their wine and their oil. Lisa was very courteous and a great host, she asked what we were interested in, we mentioned whites and reds.



The story of this enterprise tells us about the consistently renewed family tradition of the head of the family,Giovanni Chiappini, son of farmers that had moved from the Marche to the Bolgheri region in the fifties. This tradition was inherited by the two daughters Martina and Lisa who assist their father in the work on the estate. The particular difference in the work and the growth of the Chiappini family is found in their special connection to the soil,interpreted as mother earth and cultivated in a symbiosis with the working power. An alliance at all times vital and never detrimental. In the course of time the enterprise gained worldwide prominence and recognition, especially because of the positive ratings of the most important wine guides like the Wine Enthusiast, where in 2013 the main wine of Chiappini – Guado de’ Gemoli 2009 – was set on the first place of the world ranking list with the maximum of 100/100.


The total area of the estate is about 23 hectares and comprises the vineyards that are listed below (the years refer to the origins of the vineyards): podere LE GROTTINE: 1978 podere GUADO DE' GEMOLI: 1983 podere FONDI: 1984 podere FELCIAINO: 1986 podere FELCIAINO: 2001 podere FERRUGGINI: 2012

The most important grape variety in terms of Bolgheri tradition are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and a small plot with Sangiovese and Vermentino.

Since 2010 they have shifted to fully organic agricultural production. Hence the vines and olives are treated with copper and sulfur, the crop rows are sprinkled with a water-based herbal mixture and manured with organic fertilizers, with respect to the ground, the environment and the people who work the land.


Today the wine production amounts to about 60.000 bottles per year. There are two production lines: on the one hand the DOC wines, also numerically representative of the wine estate, with Le Grottine, Ferruggini, Felciaino and Guado de' Gemoli, and on the other hand the Lienà line with the single grape varieties Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The Lienà is produced in limited quantity, and only in years of outstanding vintages. It originated as an experiment of Giovanni who wanted to discover and to understand how each of these grape varieties is able to express the territory.



Lisa showed her excitement telling the history of the family and the winery production with their accolades. As we tasted the wines, the large group that was sitting on the couches few hundreds feet away, joined us to the table near ours. They were loud ; we met Giovanni, his rugged figured showed the years in the fields and his hard work to take the "tenuta" to where it was now.





Guado de' Gemoli

Doc Bolgheri Superiore

grape varieties: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot vineyards: Le Grottine 1978, Felciaino 1986 first year of production: 2000 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposits average output per vine: 800 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: last third of September until middle of October, depending on the grape variety wine making: with natural raising agents in steel tank maturation: at least 18 months in French oak barrels, 15% first use and the rest second or third use organoleptic features: Impressive colour depth, perfect expression of the characteristics of the Bolgheri territory. Elegance, power and complexity are the distinctive features of this wine, able to mature for many years and to refine its bouquet constantly over the years, passing from hints of ripe red fruits, vanilla and spices to extreme complexity with notes of liquorice, tobacco, cedar and cinnamon. Definite, soft and long finish.







Lienà Merlot

Igt Toscana Rosso

grape variety: 100% Merlot vineyards: Felciaino 1986, Fondi 1984 first year of production: 2003 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposits average output per vine: 800 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: middle of September wine making: with natural raising agents in steel tank maturation: at least 24 months in French oak barrels, 25% first use organoleptic features: Intense ruby-red colour. Characterized by a complex and fascinating nose: ripe black fruits, liquorice, spices and leaf tobacco. In the mouth the wine is silky and wrapping, with a good compactness and persistence. In the aftertaste notes of ripe black fruits, liquorice, coffee and dark chocolate.















Lienà Cabernet Sauvignon

IGT Toscana Rosso

grape variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards: Felciaino 2001, Felciaino 1986 first year of production: 2004 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposits average output per vine: 800 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: beginning of October wine making: with selected raising agents in steel tank maturation: at least 24 months in French oak barrels, 30% first use organoleptic features: Great structure, shows balsamic notes in perfect conjunction with hints of coffee, blackcurrants and redcurrants which are characteristic for this variety. In the mouth a high concentration of solid, silky tannins which ameliorate in the course of time, providing the wine with a long life and hence with the time to achieve perfection.















Lienà Cabernet Franc

Igt Toscana Rosso

grape variety: 100% Cabernet Franc vineyards: Felciaino 1986, Felciaino 2001 first year of production: 2004 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposits average output per vine: 800 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: at the end of September wine making: with natural raising agents in steel tank maturation: at least 24 months in French oak barrels, 30% first use organoleptic features: Nose of great complexity and pleasing aromas. The olfactory senses roam across inklings of tobacco, chocolate and liquorice with notes of plums and dried fruit. Rich and elegant on the palate, with smooth and soft tannins, tasty and long-lasting at the same time. A wine that expresses the elegance and singularity of the Bolgheri territory.













Felciaino

Doc Bolgheri Rosso

grape varieties: 10% Sangiovese, 40% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards: Felciaino 2001 first year of production: 1999 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposit average output per vine: 1000 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: in the middle of September wine making: with natural raising agents in steel tank maturation: at least 12 months in used French oak barrels organoleptic features: Intense ruby-red colour, a structure of great fruit and smoothness, with notes of spices providing it with complexity and diversity. An outstanding structure able to evolve gradually and to refine itself even over years, enhancing especially its characteristic olfactory qualities.












Ferruggini

Doc Bolgheri Rosso

grape varieties: 50% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah vineyards: Felciaino 1986, Fondi 1984, Felciaino 2001 first year of production: 2004 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposit average output per vine: 1200 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: in the first two weeks of September wine making: with natural raising agents in steel tank maturation: the majority in steel tank, the rest in French oak barrels, which have been used for at least 4 years organoleptic features: Great drinkability and versatility, ruby-red colour, with notes of red fruit and a dynamic, fresh mouth, excellent every day for accompanying all meals based on traditional Tuscan cuisine.














e Grottine

Doc Bolgheri Vermentino

grape variety: 100% Vermentino vineyards: Felciaino 1986, Fondi 1986 first year of production: 2006 soil composition: average texture with alluvial calcareous deposit average output per vine: 1200 g training system: horizontal spurred cordon harvest time: in the first two weeks of September wine making: under temperature control in steel tank maturation: at least 5 months in steel tank organoleptic features: A fresh, elegant wine, with optimal spiciness and minerality, expresses the typical notes of sage and acacia flowers that are characteristic for the grape variety Vermentino.
















The group near us was truly enjoying their magical afternoon, with the light breeze that was bringing the beautiful perfumed air from the fields. So did we, we enjoyed the hour and the wines; we then tasted their olive oils, that were also exceptional. I will publish in the future the tasting notes of the wines that are now part of our collection.


We realized that we were running late to our next appointment ; so reluctantly we left.


The breeze was just a little stronger and the sky was gaining a veil of clouds. As we drove through the roads, we passed by another iconic winery and vineyards, the one which we couldn't see for lack of availability in their guided visit: Ornellaia.



There is a very interesting story about how Ornellaia owned by the Antinori ended up through a machiavellian business acquisition to their archirivals : The Frescobaldi. But this one to another time.


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