Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
Paolo Baldini‘s enthusiasm is overwhelming: he meets us on his farm, on the natural terrace that dominates the town of Monteﬁoralle, together with his wife Samuela.
Over the last few months some producers of the area, including Paolo, created an association that gives value to the wines produced in this tiny area of Chianti Classico. Paolo is young, just over 30 years old. His enthusiasm is extraordinary.
“Altiero, the name of the farm, is also the name of my grandfather. He was Dr. Gianfranco Pecchioli‘s farmer. The property was enormous, 500 hectares. When it was sold, my family bought this piece of land with a barn. My grandfather was friends with Pecchioli’s only son: they had graduated in agriculture together in 1974. Then, in 1984,we began to produce wine for our family and friends”.
In 2001, Paolo turned it into a business. Young and fresh with a diploma in agriculture/forestry, he decided that this was his path.
“I wasn’t made to be a factory worker” he says smiling. “For me it was impossible to get away from the vineyard and the forest where my grandfather Nello always took me. My ﬁrst bottle? It was 2001 when I bottled around 1.000. Now we produce from 10 to 12.000 bottles. Since the grape harvest in 2015 we have created 2 other typologies of wine, that will be ready around 2019. The ﬁrst wine is the Gran Selezione di Chianti Classico. The second is a wine produced from a clone of a black Malvasia grape dating 900 years ago”.
“For me making wine is everything” he says without hesitation “it is passion, it is fulﬁlling the scope of the whole year. It certainly isn’t an easy path; San Giovese is a “difﬁcult” grape; it doesn’t have the appeal of a Barolo or a Brunello”.
Direct sales is at the heart of Paolo’s business. “We are appreciated by many tourist guides”, he tells us, “we have become friends. They like the fact that we are young, that we are a small winery, that we follow the work ourselves. I go out in the muddy ﬁelds with them and explain everything”.
“They go out among the grapes and ask why there are grapes on the ground. We explain that it is better to produce less but of a better quality. We believe in Chianti Classico as a tradition”, concludes Paolo, “and the tradition is to drink it in the family and among friends. When people visit we want them to feel at home. We have gone a little bit against the grain. When the economy started to worsen, in order to come to terms with the American market many producers changed the tradition of Chianti Classico. We use very old barriques. Ours is not a blend it is Sangiovese 100%, and they appreciate it. And if they really don’t like it… I also make an IGT wine”.