Fattoria di Montechiari: A thorny way from Tuscan traditions to méthode Champenoise
Fattoria Montechiari stands on top of the hill, only a short distance from the historical centre of the town of Montecarlo, located in picturesque hilly area east of Lucca.
Since 1978, Moreno Panattoni and Catherine Pirmez have carried on the tradition of the Montechiari wines which boast historical references dating back to the 1400s.
The vineyards and the olive groves are situated around the farm on the slopes with the best exposure. The vineyards are divided into small groups to take the best advantage of the light and the geological characteristics of the soil.
The farm’s wine growing and production is centered around French vines, which have always been present on these hills and grown in accordance with new realities of Tuscany.
The vinification and ageing procedures vary depending on the vine - here in Montechiari that was the way followed for last couple of decades, after complex research of the area allowed Moreno Panatoni to make a choice of his life. Even before Montecarlo area was known for some avant-garde wines, especially whites, but Moreno went even more further: today all five wines in production are almost single-varietal, offer consumers the variety of sensations that can be expressed by this terroir. With organic/biodynamic viticulture being practiced in the Montechiari vineyards (not yet certified) this sensation of taste has found even more authentic and natural form. However Panattoni had to continue his experiments “outsides” the Montecarlo DOC appellation, applying IGT label to his wines.
In 2005 Moreno made almost impossible - he started to vinify all his Pinot Nero according to méthode Champenoise, as a result today we have a unique wine Brut Donna Catherine, which is the only blanc-de-noirs of Tuscany today, and one of few sparkling wines produced in this part of Italy. Someone can say “It’s crazy!”, perhaps it is… but still great!