At Podernovo, a clear-cut agriculture exalts the wines of the area

by Paolo Pellegrini, ph. Archivio Lunelli

The sea, just 30 kilometres away, can’t be seen but it can be felt in those velvety breezes that lightly brush against the vines. In the middle of the hills there is a hillock that is nearly an embroidery. There was also an 18th-century country house and beautiful farmhouses. It was love at first sight for the Lunelli family, those of the Ferrari sparkling wine of Trento. Reminiscing this is Alessandro Lunelli, forty years, one of Mauro’s sons. Podernovo, municipality of Terricciola, Colline Pisane. Ideal conditions for falling in love. Amongst the VIP wine growers now there is also Andrea Bocelli, even if his family has been making wine since 1831.  “We are in Tuscany”, says Alessandro, “which is the land of great reds, on a hill that is perfect for Sangiovese but also recalling the coast”. The idea is to replicate Bolgheri at an altitude, with the two Cabernet, Sauvignon and Franc and the Merlot together with Sangiovese. A more international Tuscany, directly devoted to organic production, to the use of local materials. This is told in the splendid octagonal vat cellar where the wines rest in steel and in large ovals amid stone walls, terracotta floors with a large star and the radial-beamed ceiling. Everything becomes agricultural practice with the Anima Vitis project which aims, as Alessandro explains, “at a clear-cut agriculture. Tractors with infra-red sensors which measure the vegetative state of the vine leaves to establish where to put more manure and what to sow in green manure, barley or beans according the plants’ necessities”. Then the wizard of the Cabernet Franc arrived, the wine-maker Luca D’Attoma. Thus the range of wines was completed and are now three: Aliotto, entrance wine with Sangiovese grapes (60%), Cabernet and Merlot. Teuto, “a very Tuscan supertuscan” still mainly Sangiovese (65%) with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. And finally the wine sought after by D’Attoma, that Auritea which takes its name from a fossil shell of which the soil is rich. The first harvest has come out, that of 2015, which has immediately received excellent ratings: 94 marks from James Suckling and 4 vines from Vitae. 100% Cabernet Franc “as few do in Tuscany”, says Alessandro proudly who, of his wines, appreciates mostly “the softness of a tannin that is velvet and not silk because velvet has a more material taste”. They are all on sale at Casale Podernovo where the Lunelli welcome tourists and winelovers in apartments sleeping 2-4 up to 8 in summer, rented weekly, with a swimming pool and a restaurant, la Locanda, “an ideal place, even with an organic kitchen garden to enjoy the flavours of tradition and the territory matched with our wines and experience tours and visits of the whereabouts”. A dinner on the terrace, in the silent and magical night of the Colline Pisane with the palate caressed by the velvets of the cellars: must be tried.

Casale Podernovo

Via Podernuovo, 13

Terricciola (PI)

Tel. +39 0587 656040


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