The Story

After several years working in New York City, Silvio Messana took over the Montesecondo estate from his father in 1999. Silvio's first vintage was in 2000, and the conversion to organic was certified in 2004. Montesecondo wines have come into conflict with the powers-that-be in Chianti Classico. While Silvio's methods in the vineyard and cellar yield what many consider pure, classically expressive wines; the way he gets there, and occasionally the results (higher acidity, lighter colour or darker colour, etc.) means that he can only bottle one Chianti Classico and the rest are labelled as IGT Toscana. His wines exhibit incredible freshness, with the ageing done in very old barrels or concrete tanks and clay amphora for his flagship wines.

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"How to nurture the vine and create a balanced habitat that allows the vine to best express itself? This is our work!"

The People


In a previous life, Silvio Messana was a New Yorker. But as the son of a winemaker, Silvio's passion for wine was longstanding. With the absolute impossibility of finding affordable rent in New York and with three growing sons, Silvio decided to take over the family farm, turning the Chianti Classico estate into their home with a portion of the farm converted as a bed-and-breakfast.

"The first question a winegrower must ask himself is: What kind of wine will this earth give me? Striving for the balance of the plants and the earth, we think of the winery as a living organism that encompasses vital powers that are not limited to a system of production. With the first vinification, one starts down a path of discovery and learning. This is an approach that changes a person. By working in harmony with the earth, we can allow the wines to express their territory fully. Even though the work of winemaking requires human intervention, we can speak of a "natural" transformation, during which nothing is removed, and nothing is added."

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The Place

Tuscany, Italy

The estate has two vineyards, planted with Sangiovese, Colorino, Canaiolo, Trebbiano, Malvasia and Cabernet Sauvignon but each of them has a very different terroir. One is located 500 metres above sea level, with vines growing from rich limestone soil. This makes fresh and crisp wines with sharp acidity. The other terroir is lower and warmer thanks to the clay and marl soil. The wines from these grapes tend to be more mature and fleshy.