Podere le Ripi - a wine jewel in Montalcino!

The incredible beauty of the landscape steals your soul from the moment you arrive at Podere Le Ripi. Uncontaminated beauty, uncontaminated soil. In fact, Podere le Ripi was a shepherd’s land before Francesco Illy bought it in 1998.

The story

The founder of this special vineyard is Francesco Illy. A nature photographer sensible to the beauty of the earth, comes from the family known in the whole world for the excellence of their coffee. How could he not make but excellent wines…

His friends from Burgundy told him that in order to make a good wine, at least a 30-year-old vineyard is necessary. In fact, the older the vines the deeper the roots go, they cross many layers of the soil, absorbing the available minerals to the grapes and therefore the wines.

As a 50-year-old man at the moment of purchase, Francesco did not want to wait another 30 years for his vines to be good enough. After planting his first vineyard with the normal density for the Montalcino area (4.500- 6000 vines per hectare) he has planted Sangiovese at a 11.200 density per hectare (the vineyard where Brunello Lupi and Sirene comes from). The many vines put in the competition would go deeper down in the search of water and nutriments.

He has later planted another Sangiovese vineyard at the highest density in the world, 62.500 vines per hectare producing the famous Bonsai Wine.

Francesco is helped by a great team of people, among others Sebastian, the oenologist and winery director and Alessandro, the agronomist whom we often have a pleasure to meet at the winery.

Different than others?

I manage to recognize the Podere Le Ripi bottles in quite a few blind tastings. Not sure if this is because of the organoleptic qualities or the vivid energy this wine transmits. The unique recognizable character may have many factors.