Tenuta Guardastelle San Gimignano
Our Cellar and Our Wines
The grapevine was known and cultivated as early as Etruscan times and a number of cultivation techniques such as the selection of hybrid varieties, planting layouts and grafting are also attributed to this people. Their wine was appreciated as far afield as Greece, especially that made in the areas which are now the production zones of Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti.
When we approach the subject of wine, it is so vast that it is quite easy to get lost, so let’s stick to the specifics of what are currently the two most important appellations of San Gimignano: Chianti, particularly the Chianti Colli Senesi subzone, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano; both of which are produced in small quantities but with great pride at Tenuta Guardastelle, a small family-run winery in Tuscany.
The estate consists of approximately five hectares of vineyards and approximately 400 olive trees covering a further three hectares. The property is located at an average altitude of 290 metres above sea level and the vines are all on the south-east side of the property. This is one of the best possible exposures for the vineyards, offering them the chance to fully enjoy the sunlight, which favours photosynthesis and allows the grapes to ripen properly and the sugars in them to develop. The soils are cool and mostly composed of tufa, which is characteristic of this area. The dramatic climatic changes we have had to cope with in recent years make working the soils more complicated, but their composition means that, even in periods of severe drought, as happened in 2003 and more recently in 2017, 2018 and 2022, our vines do not suffer due to a lack of water and the grapes still ripen to perfection.
Meticulous selection of the bunches of grapes and harvesting by hand help to produce a natural, rather high sugar content in the berries, so that the standards required for the most important certification of Italian wines – the D.O.C.G. – are easily met.
And the wines produced by Tenuta Guardastelle all bear this important certification. Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin), this is the meaning of the acronym borne by as many as 78 wines throughout Italy, 11 of which are in Tuscany and include the world-famous Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti. The only white wine among the 11 Tuscan D.O.C.G.s is Vernaccia di San Gimignano (link alla pagina del vino). It was the first Italian wine to obtain D.O.C. status in 1966 before being “promoted” to D.O.C.G.
The estate also produces Chianti wines, specifically from the “Chianti Colli Senesi” subzone, a specific area within the Chianti production zone, situated entirely in the province of Siena. The grape variety that symbolises Tuscany is undoubtedly Sangiovese, which forms the basis for Chianti, in which we find a minimum of 75% of the variety, as required by production regulations. The red grapes grown on the estate are Sangiovese and small percentages of Syrah and Colorino. These three grapes are blended to produce our Tribolotto and Irpide.
2021 was the year in which we bottled two new IGT wines:
- “Maria Assunta”, a Tuscan white that we dedicated to the mother of the producer and owner of the estate.
- “Passaluna”, a Tuscan red, also known as a Supertuscan, dedicated to the moon which, with its monthly cycles, influences production just as much as the sun.