Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
The story began in 1964 with a grandfather, Renato Sieni. He took over what was called the “parish benefit of Montefioralle” where (there seems to be a document that confirms it) wine has been produced from 1400.
This is a story of passion, of strong ties to the land, a story of identity and continuous studying: in 2018 the Sieni family and their Montefioralle winery reached a milestone – 50 years of grape harvesting.
At the table
Lorenzo and Alessia Sieni tell us: “Don Ario Gabbrielli, the last priest of Montefioralle, suffered from poliomyelitis. The church’s land wasn’t cultivated. Our granddad retired while he was still young, at 55, and he rented the land in exchange for two demijohns of wine a year and the mention on the label that said the wine was bottled in the parish benefit of Montefioralle“.
Renato planted the vines in a way typical of the time: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Trebbiano, Malvasia varieties. He immediately started to produce wine. The first vintage is, in fact, 1968.
“Our father Fernando developed a passion for wine making – Lorenzo and Alessia continue – He was a technical designer of electrical systems at Nuovo Pignone, but his real passion was the vineyard. Thanks to his dedication the company was born. He took the situation in hand himself, but he wasn’t alone. He had a couple of friends in Radda and in San Martino in Cecione: each one had his own land, but they put machinery and skills to good work, together”.
“At the beginning – Lorenzo and Alessia smile – we made a couple of thousand bottles, bottled in house and sold informally. One of the first commercial channels were local companies that bought our wine to make Christmas gifts”.
Then Fernando started learning to make wine really well, using proper method and in-depth analysis.
At first he received, in an informal and friendly way, the advice of the agronomist Valerio Barbieri (“The daughter Elisabetta Barbieri then became our oenologist”) and the oenologist Franco Bernabei.
Fernando planted some Merlot and Carbernet Sauvignon vines. Our first Igt wine is from 1988, ”Monteficalle”, it took the old name of the village of Montefioralle, and it’s still produced today.
The turning point was when Fernando retired, the priest died and the Curia put up the land for sale. We needed courage and a bit of recklessness: “We had the right of first refusal: our father used his severance pay, got a loan, and bought it. At the same time we opened the shop in the village, selling to those who passed by”.
It was 1997-98 when the Azienda Agricola Montefioralle was born as we know it today. “I took the regional course to become a self-employed farmer – Alessia remembers – I had already taken the sommelier course. A few years later we bought half a hectare more of land nearby, then other small pieces of land, including the last that were cultivated about 4 years ago”.
Today we’ve 4 hectares of land, between rents and properties, one of which must go into production. How important is Montefioralle?
“It’s vital – they respond as one voice – Here’s where the family is, where our story started and the vineyard is. We used to sell directly in the village (today we sell on-farm)”.
The Sieni were the first to organise wine tastings on the farm. True tastings, dedicated to wine, with people from all over the world, driven especially by the web channels that Lorenzo immediately started to use.
“We’ve been working hard on it – they conclude – so much so that over the years we have been able to develop a sales system that allows the bottle to cross the ocean and end up on the table with a shipping cost of just under 5 euros per bottle. … people appreciate this and remain linked to our wine and to Montefioralle”.