The Story

 

The Ampeleia estate began life in the 1960s when abandoned land was bought by a Swiss couple, Erica and Peter Max Suter. Turning it into an agricultural estate, the couple bred sheep and pigeons and planted the first vines, including the introduction of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

In 2002 the estate was taken over by Elisabetta Foradori, Thomas Widmann and Giovanni Podini, who wanted to demonstrate the diversity and potential of Maremma, particularly in the Colline Metallifere mountains. In 2009 the team began converting their largest area of land from organic to biodynamic farming and have been gradually extending that practice to the rest of their estate.

Although they own around 120 hectares of land, only 35 hectares are currently under vine; such is the team’s dedication to maintaining the landscape and its biodiversity. This land is spread over 3 distinct altitudes, each with different soils and used to grow different grape varieties, reflecting the local tradition of planting multiple varieties in each plot.

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The People 

Marco, Elisabetta, Thomas & Giovanni

In 2002 the estate was taken over by Elisabetta Foradori, Thomas Widmann and Giovanni Podini, who wanted to demonstrate the diversity and potential of Maremma, particularly in the Colline Metallifere mountains. In 2009 the team began converting their largest area of land from organic to biodynamic farming and have been gradually extending that practice to the rest of their estate.

Marco Tait has been responsible for the winemaking since the beginning of the project and continues to do so with minimal intervention, aiming to preserve the essence of the fruit and the expression of the land.

"Ampeleia is one of the stars of the Tuscan coast. At their best, the Ampeleia wines are among the most pure, transparent expressions of the coast readers will find. Elisabetta Foradori and her team are doing important work here. Ampeleia is a young estate. There is every reason to believe the best is yet to come.Antonio Galloni, September 2014

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The Place

Tuscany, Italy 

The plots are:
Ampeleia di Sopra:
 15 hectares of vineyards placed between 450 and 600 metres above sea level, and mainly planted with Cabernet Franc. With different exposures, various soil-types and a climate marked by sea breezes meeting the land, these are unique sites.  Ampeleia di Sopra includes the “Lo Sbocco” vineyard where the Merlot vines used for Empatia is grown.

Ampeleia di Mezzo: 10 hectares of vineyards, divided into small plots from 250 to 350 metres above sea level.  The vineyards, surrounded by cork oak woods and Mediterranean scrubland, are planted with Sangiovese, Carignan, Grenache and Alicante Bouschet.

Ampeleia di Sotto: 10 hectares of vineyards including the plots closest to the sea and most similar to the deeply Mediterranean character of this region. The vineyards, found around 200 metres above sea level, are planted with traditional Mediterranean grape varieties, mainly Grenache.

 

Ampeleia Location