TUSCANY, LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Right from the start, it is clear in Georg’s intentions, the world of wine will not be solely a simple pastime, but a real business. He desires to create a wine that in a few years would reach the international excellence, recognized in the Gotha circle of the most important wine producers. This dream, backed by a commitment and a great tenacity, soon takes shape. The first step is to search out an area to lay the roots of this enterprise.
The choice is almost already written: unconditional love binds Georg to Tuscany, a land that does not need any introduction, fiery and genuine, with a rich natural and cultural heritage. His preference falls on a border area, halfway between the sea and Capalbio, in a particularly favorable hilly area surrounded by olive groves and wild Mediterranean vegetation. A fascinating landscape with its perched villages, the horizon of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the changing colors, an uncanny and exciting atmosphere.
It was a real love at first sight. This was the first step of the Monteverro company, an estate which brings in its name the essence of this land full of character, where ‘verro’ is synonymous with the wild boar, the undisputed king of the local fauna.
LOVE FOR A MAGIC LAND
A story of a passion for wine, but also of a love. In the same years in which Georg Weber lays the foundation for his viticultural adventure, Julia enters his life to become his wife in 2011 and to join him in running the estate. A “magic” combination of two opposite and complementary personalities: both Germans – pragmatic him, musician, dreamer and muse her – represents the two souls of their enterprise, the perfect balance between heart and reason.
A movie-like meeting during a concert where she was playing the violin, a shared love for Italy and Tuscany in particular: this is the trait d’union, the bond with an enchanted land that fascinates and conquers. A partnership, which was strengthened by a romantic wedding ceremony right in the medieval village of Capalbio. The story of Monteverro officially becomes a family business, in which Julia and Georg engage with the “head” and “heart”.
Today, the Webers lead the cellar assisted by a team of international experts: the winemaker Matthieu Taunay, the general manager Michael Voegele, the Head of sales Andreas Comploj, Michel Rolland – winemaking consultant – and Jean Hoefliger – winemaking consultant. To strengthen the bond with the land, there is a local staff in the estate and in the winery, who appreciate the land and with them there is a constant dialogue. The owners, although residents in Germany, share their time and are very involved in the daily reality of the company, where they also love to spend all their free time.
SWEET HILLS AND AN ENLIGHTENED ESTATE
The right soil, the perfect work team, a great passion, a good deal of commitment and tenacity, and a “enlightened” estate make Monteverro a reality of excellence with vineyards of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, along with Syrah and Grenache.
The property extends over 50 hectares at an altitude of 30 meters above sea level up to 80 meters. Five kilometers from the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the west is the great silhouette of Monte Argentario, while to the southeast there is the plain at the border with Lazio.
Of the 50 hectares of land, 30 are planted, of which 26 are in production today; the field density is about 7600 plants per hectare to favor a proper root development and thus a good balance of the plant with the ground. For flexibility tasks a wheel tractor is used, while all the other work in the vineyard is done with caterpillar tractor to respect the soil. Pruning is done partially in cordon and half in guyot in order to fit as much as possible to maintain balance between the plants and the soil potential.
At Monteverro there is a great respect towards the environment and a big attention to practices that affect the quality of wine: there is compost to recycle the by-products of the cellar, stalks, grape pomace, hedges and other waste. This “green” strategy also includes the use of pheromone confusion against the moth. The method is based on the distribution of pheromones that block or reduce the chance of the moth coupling and consequently damaging the crop without having to take advantage of insecticides. A series of strongly desired choices from the property convinced us that what nature can do by itself with its own living organisms and with its spontaneous search for balance allows the soil to better express its character and its uniqueness. In respect to the countryside and to the vine, no insecticides or pesticides of any origin are used.
Nothing in this winery is left to chance: thorough work processes, unique attention to each step, a “craftsman” work on the vineyard to accommodate the peculiarities of each vine, are all an obligatory route if the goal is to produce wines that can compete with the major labels in the world.
Georg Weber was enologically formed on the great wines of Bordeaux, his landmark and inspiration. But his goal is to create unique wines, inspired by the Grand Cru, but “reinterpreted” in the light of the sun and soil typical of southern Tuscany.
2008 saw the first harvest, with young vines already able to express the richness and complexity of the soil. The following harvests have just confirmed the great results. In 2011 the Monteverro bottles started their way in the world, with 4 different labels. Today there are 6 wines: Monteverro, Tinata, Chardonnay, Terra di Monteverro, Verruzzo and Vermentino.
Complex and elegant, Monteverro is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, it is austere at the outset, but then opens to reveal aromatic richness and intensity. You can’t reduce a project as ambitious as this to schematic details about vinification. Nor is it the 24 months spent in French oak barrel that determines a wine’s ability to express the character of its terroir. It is the scrupulous care taken at every stage of the winemaking process, with the patient care of the vines, the rigorous selection during the harvest, and expert evaluation of each terroir-specific lot at the time of tasting and blending. Since the 2010 vintage, Monteverro has been using a seal of authenticity by Prooftag to guarantee the integrity of its flagship wine.
TERRA DI MONTEVERRO
It is produced using the same blend but from other parcels. It’s a more immediate wine than its well balanced, concentrated elder brother: Terra di Monteverro is expressive, accessible and instantly recognizable as Tuscan.
Dedicated to Georg’s mother Christine, or ‘Tina’ who is a great fan of Syrah, Tinata is a single vineyard Syrah and Grenache blend. It is a sensual wine with deep Mediterranean and spicy aromas, that combines to perfection, elegance and power.
Chardonnay: a grape variety among the most famous white varieties in the world, a grape that can give elegant citrus notes and an acidic backbone, but that is not common to find in Tuscany. Georg Weber loves a challenge, he is also a pioneer in this decision to plant Chardonnay at this latitude, an area not particularly renowned for white wines. To ensure freshness, the rows are oriented east west (all the rest of the vineyard is north south), so as to have less direct sun exposure, they are also planted higher to avoid heat from the soil. The result is a unique wine, important and full of character, a small production with numbered bottles and Prooftag for authentication. The large selection made in the vineyard makes this Chardonnay exceptional; also because of the proximity of the sea that lowers the Maremman temperatures and gives it a unique finesse. The deep gold color makes it precious to the eyes, the crisp attack that lingers on lemon, brioche, pleasant pineapple enjoys the palate, the cedar explosion, honey, toast, vanilla, honeysuckle, is an irresistible perfume.
Extremely gentle winemaking and utmost care in the vineyards yield a delicate, refined Vermentino – nicely balanced, whose crisp, fruit-rich aromas, summon up the joy of summertime. Enjoy it young and well chilled. This wine entry in the Monteverro range was dictated by the celebrated viticultural qualities of the southern Maremma area, and hence of Monteverro, with respect to the Vermentino grape, where it flourishes and finds an exceptional expression
Young, fresh, vibrant and fragrant, Verruzzo is the last-born in the Monteverro family. The name Verruzzo, which means “small wild boar”, comes from the eponymous hill behind Monteverro’s forest.
The dynamic character of the most important grape in Central Italy is combined with the power and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, the aromatics of Cabernet Franc and the softness of Merlot, all united in a red wine full of aromas, Italian character and Italian elegance. Verruzzo is charming, soft and accessible in its youth.
The winery gently sits on the Grosseto hills, which reveal only the above ground. The structure has been studied in detail, following the parameters encoded for the production of great wines. Majestic is the barrel room, an almost sacred place in the heart of the hill. Inside you can find about 600 barrels of medium toast French Oak – the best wood for the production of high quality wines – purchased from 10 different manufacturers, in addition to quality, variety is essential so that the different characteristics complement to increase complexity. The sea of barrels is visible from the tasting room window on the upper floor, a spectacular glance which gives the cellar an almost magical aura. But it is not just a spectacular space, there is much more: every element is part of a functional design to the creation of excellent wines: insulation, controlled temperature and humidity. All of these elements are hidden to the naked eye. The great black columns hide wires and tubes, the floor covers a heating system in areas that allows you to raise the temperature to help the malolactic fermentation.
Quality is a prerequisite. The details make the difference, and, as in the vineyard, the Monteverro team chose to minimize interventions – no pre-selected yeast, no filtrations nor clarifications – each micro parcel is vinified separately in order to respect the peculiar characteristics and to preserve the natural differences and complexity of the grapes (and later the wine). In the full respect for the grapes, Monteverro works exclusively using the principle of gravity by means of a sophisticated crane system that allows Monteverro to avoid any pumps.
Other features include 45 conical stainless steel tanks, 2 cement tanks for Tinata and Chardonnay aging and a bottling line, inside the property, to have traceability “from the vineyard to the bottle”