The Somm Journal

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

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Page 67 of 124

{ }  67 Everyone has a vision in their mind about Tuscany—a picture- perfect painting. But in La Maremma, how do you paint a new picture? AC: Wine in Italy is a social aspect so we must be very careful and do things together with the other producers, respect the people who are historically in those places. If we have a philosophy of working together, we can make a big success of the area and [wine] production. With ideas and technology, you can have a better situation for all. But from the beginning, if you want to let the area grow, you must do things together with the other people. So, you're neighbors and not invaders. AC: Yes, that's right. When my father was a young boy my grandfather sent him there to make a harvest, so he knew Maremma pretty well. It was these experiences we remember when we said, 'Why don't we look around . . . Why don't we go there [where] we have good memories?' I didn't create Maremma—I am a guest in Maremma, and I'm trying to add value, and bring value to every - body. That has to be our approach. Do you think in Maremma there's more flexibility to be more experimental and make mistakes? CC: Chianti Classico already has a specific identity and Maremma still has to decide. Maremma is much more informal, much more immediate . . . more easy. That doesn't mean that it's simple; it's very much up front and we want to reflect that in the wine. You can make something different here. The potential is huge. Do you have a strategy for introducing new grapes to the region? AC: We have a strategy to produce under the IGT appellations and then after a few years, if everything works well, we can ask together with other producers if we can make DOC wines. It takes time, but I think it's very good. Right now we're making research about Ciliegiolo—nobody else is because they are thinking about Mourvèdre or Grenache, but Ciliegiolo is a historical grape . . . but we are thinking about it already and we think it can be successful. CC: You have to think well [about] what you're doing. If I create a new DOC, it's just a star ting point . . . to put together some rules. You have to think [ahead] ten years. It's like the proper ty we have in Umbria where we try to make a grape that used to be there many years ago. Will it be great? I don't know. Interesting? I would say yes. SJ: Are you thinking about the Millennials who will be the wine buyers for the next 30+ years? AC: We think that when you talk about quality you are in front of a [cycle]. What it was called 20 years ago, it is not called today . . . what it is called today, it is not going to be called in 20 years—even for Chianti. So it's not like we can change like this unless you have a product with a very short shelf life. Something is always moving and it's changing . . . it's difficult to say what's going to be in 30 years. SJ: With the new winery, are you installing technologies that address how wine has to made today and also how it will be in five, ten and 20 years? AC: Yes, in fact, when you plan a winery now you need an archi - tect—20 years ago, we didn't. Now you have hospitality, and a wine shop. But from the technical point of view you need a very dynamic winery because you won't know what's ahead . . . you need a 'big-sized suit' that can be used for the future. SJ: What about future people power? What might the work force look like in 15 years and how do you design for that? CC: It's difficult to forecast everything. Thir ty years ago you didn't prepare the vineyard to harvest by machine like you do now. Now the harvest machines are doing the proper job . . . Thir ty years ago you couldn't think about it. Now technology is bringing you to say, 'I want to prepare every year to harvest by machine because I know by machine I can do a proper job.' SJ: So you have vineyard design as well as winery design? AC: Exactly. But a priority is always to give to the landscape, so even in Villa Rosa, where we have to rebuild the vineyards, we don't change the hilly area. So when we buy the land, it is with a focus for a new way of thinking, but we want to protect what was in the past. SJ: Do you think everything you're doing now, could you have made Coevo, your signature wine from both estates, ten years ago—would it have been the same wine? AC: I say no probably, because we were not ready to make that wine because we were thinking in a different way, we were manag - ing the vineyard in a different way . . . things were born in the right moment. So Coevo was born in the right moment for us with the maturity of the people who made it. CC: [After the death of his father,] it was a big change of genera - tion. I'm not saying he was wrong and we are right . . . but for sure you put some personality in what you do. SJ: Every generation has to put their stamp on it CC: What to us is important is being a family business. Our first goal is to build a reputation about our family and we are not going to accept compromise. We might make a mistake. But we are willing to try. AC: You try your best. We know where we want to go. We want to be a very [high-] performing family inside the wine business, giving to the wine a nice home, hospitality and a nice voice. Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Cecchi's Coevo is an inter-appel- lation Tuscan wine that draws on fruit from the family estate in Castellina (Chianti Classico) and from its estate in the coastal Maremma region.

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