The medieval village of Castello di Albola stands on the magnificent Chianti hills, in an unique location known for the charm of its history, for the evocative power of art and for the unique landscape and agrarian context of unrivalled harmony. The vineyards that surround the hamlet of Castello di Albola form a site of outstanding quality and they represent the most evocative amphitheatre of vines in all of Chianti Classico. The historic Selvole, Capaccia, Madonnino, Ellere, Marangole, Mondeggi, Sant’Ilario and Acciaiolo vineyards are located at an altitude of between 350 and 550 metres above sea level and are exposed to light, as they say in Chianti, “from sun to sun”. But the iconic vineyard of Albola is undoubtedly Il Solatio, which is perched on the stony soil of a breathtakingly steep hill at between 550 and 580 meters above sea level. The soils of Albola are of two distinct geological types: one is alberese (fine-grained, compact limestone) and the other is galestro (clay-based shale). These, apart from ensuring excellent drainage, also gives a particular mineral and tangy quality to the wines. The vineyards are surrounded by woods of oak and durmast trees; they are dotted with very tall cypresses and are surrounded by beautiful olive groves in which the Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo varieties (the typical blend of the great DOP extra virgin oil of this area) are cultivated. The main grape variety is Sangiovese and, more particularly, the Sangioveto clone, which is the ancient name for Sangiovese Grosso di Toscana, the flagship grape of Chianti Classico. This late-ripening red cultivar is harvested here between the first and the second decade of October; it is the lifeblood of this unique land; it is a repository of absolute quality, the fruit of very special vineyards. Sangiovese vines cover around 90% Castello di Albola’s area under vine, where that other great red variety, Cabernet Sauvignon, is grown, as well as Canaiolo, which gives an additional touch of indigenous character to the wines of this estate. White varieties - Chardonnay and Malvasia del Chianti Classico - are also cultivated in the cooler vineyards: the latter is indispensable for the production of Castello di Albola’s fine Vin Santo, another typical Tuscan standard-bearer. The vines are Guyot and Cordon Spur-trained and there is an ongoing programme of replanting, with an average age of the vines of about twenty years. Agronomic and viticultural experimentation is also continual and is conducted in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and with the Chianti Classico Consortium. Castello di Albola is, in fact, considered to be the archetypical vineyard of Chianti Classico.
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