The production of wine on the coastal vineyards of Maremma dates back to the Etruscan era, long before the term “Super Tuscan wine” became one of the highest accolades in the world of oenology. From a rural poor area, Maremma has become a symbol of oenological excellence in Tuscany. Maremma’s modern wine cellars created new styles of landscapes where architecture is in harmony with the territory. The edgiest high-design wineries boast structures and facilities of engineering brilliance and architectural ingenuity. These are five famous architectural wineries that will take your breath away in Maremma: Petra, Rocca di Frassinello, Tenuta Ammiraglia-Frescobaldi, Le Mortelle and Tenuta delle Ripatle.
1. Tenuta Ammiraglia-Frescobaldi
Founders of Tenuta Ammiraglia-Frescobaldi
Marquis Lamberto Frescobaldi represents the 30th generation to head Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi. Generations of Frescobaldi have been supplying fine wines to royalty and nobles of different European courts. Now the family runs their business across seven gorgeous estates. Lamberto Frescobaldi is pretty much a hands-on winemaker with an understanding and appreciation of many aspects of this challenging but lucrative business.
Architecture of Tenuta Ammiraglia-Frscobaldi
The building, designed by Piero Sartogo and Nathalie Grenon, resembles the prow of a ship pointing toward the sea. To avoid loss of quality and energy, architects opted for a single-storey design, where grapes are moved by the force of gravity and wine is not pumped back up to the surface from the underground cellar at the end of the production cycle. Location of Tenuta Ammiraglia – Frescobaldi Tenuta Ammiraglia is set across 150 hectares of land that gets just the right amount of sun and reflected light from the Tyrrhenian Sea to ensure production of superb wines. Poderi della Capitana was once given as a dowry to the captain of the Ammiraglia ship – hence the name.
Wines of Tenuta Ammiraglia-Frescobaldi
Tenuta Ammiraglia produces a range of elegant and lively wines. Aurea Gran Rosé Toscana IGT is a shining star of the estate produced from Vermentino grapes with a dash of barrel-aged white Syrah "vin di reserve”. Other wines of note are Alìe Rosé, Massovivo Toscana IGT and Terre More Toscana Cabernet DOC.
How to get to there?
Address: Località La Capitana, 58051 Montiano GR, Italy
Tel: +39 055/27141
2. Cantine Petra
Founders of Petra
This imposing wine estate is owned by Vittorio Moretti –a business-savvy developer from Lombardy, and his second child, Francesca. Vittorio came to Maremma in 19997and fell in love with the estate. Now Petra with its 300 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and woodland is part of Gruppo Terra Moretti. In 2016 Francesca became the company’s CEO.
Architecture of Petra
Mario Botta, famous for designing the San Francisco Museum of modern art, went beyond designing an impressive wine cellar in Petra. His all-encompassing approach included the outlay of the vineyards, too. The winery digs 150 meters deep in the ground to create a tunnel-like wine cellar – a slightly theatrical project based on Vittorio Moretti’s own vision. Many features are unusual when it comes to Petra’s design: its cylindrical shape and sweeping lines, the trees on the roof, but its earth-toned colour scheme perfectly blends with the surroundings.
Location of Petra
The home of Petra winery is Suvereto on the southernmost tip of Livorno. Sitting on the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is surrounded by the ferruginous hills of the Val di Cornia. The area is blessed with beautiful and mild Mediterranean microclimate that allows Sangiovese and other grapes to thrive.
Wines from Petra
Wines of Petra are expressive, aromatic and modern in style. Petra Rosso, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet, is the real star of the house. The four high-end wines produced here are Ebo, Petra, Quercegobbe, and Zingari.
How to get to there?
Address: Petra Winery, Località San Lorenzo Alto,131. 57028 Suvereto – Tuscany
Tel. +39 0565 84 53 08
3. Rocca Di Frassinello
Founders of Rocca di Frassinello
This slice of paradise is owned by Paolo Panerai – a former editor of Panorama, Il Mondo and Capital magazines. His two other prized assets are an iconic Tuscan winery Castellare di Castellina in Chianti Classico, and the legendary Baron Eric de Rothschild of the revered Domaines Barons de Rothschild-Lafite.
Architecture of Rocca di Frassinello
Rocca was a vision of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, famous worldwide for his striking urban designs like Centre Georges Pompidou and the Shard. No pumps are used: the grapes are brought to a large open square named the “sagrato” or “churchyard”. There they are carefully sorted and left to fall in the fermentation tanks through openings in the floor. Below the sagrato sits the wine cellar designed as an inverted pyramid. The underground location of the barrel room allows to naturally maintain stable levels of humidity and temperature
Location of Rocca di Frassinello
This state-of-the-art winery rises above the Tuscan hills between Gavorrano and Ribolla in the Grosseto province. Sea breezes help to moderate higher temperatures of this southern estate. Wines of Rocca di Frassinello The first vines were planted here in 2000. The estate is famous for producing Baffonero(100% Merlot), one of Italy’s finest Super Tuscan wines. Except for Baffonero all other wines are blends.
How to get to there?
Address: Località Poggio la Guardia, 58023 Giuncarico GR, Italy
Tel: +39 0566 88400
4. Le Mortelle
Founders of Le Mortelle
Le Mortelle is owned by one of the oldest Tuscan families – Antinori. This area was already mentioned in an inventory of the family’s patrimony back in 1863. Since 1999 the family has been improving the cellar and the surrounding vineyards.
Architecture of Le Mortelle
The cylindrical structure created in 2010 by Hydea Spa was developed around a large wooden and steel helical staircase that vertically connects the three levels of the building: the grape reception room, the winemaking area, and the barricaia. The project was executed following the idea of a minimum impact on the environment. The underground winery is evocative of nearby Etruscan ruins and its exterior landscape design is created with trees and shrubs typical of Maremma.
Location of Le Mortelle
The estate occupies 260 acres of exceptional land in the heart of the Maremma on the top of the slight hill. The name means “wild myrtle”, a fragrant shrub that grows around in abundance.
Wines of Le Mortelle
Among Le Mortelle’s many high-quality wines Ampio delle Mortelle deserves a special mention. It owes its name to the river which runs through the estate, and its taste – to a wonderful symphony of Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes.
How to there?
Address: Loc. Ampio, Castiglione della Pescaia
Tel: +39 0564 944003, +39 347 4610704
5. Tenuta Delle Ripatle
Owners of Tenuta delle Ripatle
The Fattoria delle Ripalte farm on the Island of Elba was built in 1896 on the initiative of Count Tobler on the Capo Calamita estate. Oscar Tobler was an entrepreneur and a member of a noble Swiss family. For a while it was kept as a country retreat and a hunting reserve. Current owners – the Ederle family – acquired the complex in 2002. To replant the vineyard and build the new cellar they wisely collaborated with Piermario Meletti Cavallari, former owner of the Grattamacco estate in Bolgheri.
Architecture of Tenuta Delle Ripatle
This modern winery was created by the famous postmodern Italian architect and designer Tobia Scarpa, the son of another famous architect – Carlo Scarpa. Some of Tobia’s furniture pieces can be found in MoMA and the Louvre. The design embodies many of Scarpia’s signature moves, like the use of cutting-edge technology, ergonomics, and references to cultural history. The project was inspired by the industrial architecture of nearby Calamita and Ginervo mines. It’s a functional building where the roofing of the cellar doubles as a terrace for drying grapes. These days Tenuta delle Ripalte is a resort, completed with 2 restaurants, 3 beaches, tennis courts, facilities for horse riding, diving, mountain biking and activities for children.
Location of Tenuta delle Ripatle
The Tenuta delle Ripalte is hidden on the southernmost tip of the Elba island within the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. This location makes Tenuta delle Ripatle a perfect place to be in connection with nature, but it also determines strict rules of sustainable agriculture – organic fertilizers, mechanical processing of weeds and no irrigation so as not to put a drain on the island’s already scarce water supply. Vines grow in 4 areas located 180 meters above sea level which helps natural ventilation.
Wines of Tenuta delle Ripatle
Since 2002 the vineyard has been planted mostly with Aleatico – the most typical and well-known Elban grape. Due to organic farming vines produce little but the quality is high. Aleatico is perfect for the production of sweet wine: Aleatico Passito and Aleatico Brut Spumante. Wines of note are Bianco delle Ripalte IGT Costa Toscana which is fragrant and bold, and Rosso delle Ripalte produced from Grenache and Carignano – a harmonious wine with an elegant finish. The best years allow Tenuta to produce collectors’ bottles of Bianco Mediterraneo (Vermentino with some Fiano) and Rosso Mediterraneo (only Alicante).
How to get to there?
Address: 57031 Capoliveri LI, Italy
Tel: +39 0565 94211
By Elena Leo