Vallepicciola is an estate located in the Castelnuovo Berdardenga area not far from Siena, on the rolling hills of Tuscany. When we talk about Castelnuovo Berdardenga, it generally, brings our minds to Chianti Classico as it is the southernmost subzone — UGA — of the Chianti Classico appellation.
In mid-January, Vallepicciola invited us to an event to present an entirely different type of wine, namely the new “Grand Cru” line that they have launched. It was an event in grand style where we after the wine tasting and lunch got a tour of the amazing estate under the guidance of Alessandro Cellai, oenologist and general manager of the winery. In the evening, they pampered us with a fabulous dinner by 2-star Michelin Chef Gaetano Trovato from the Arnolfo Restaurant in Colle Val d’Elsa in Tuscany.
From the Steel to the Wine Sector
Vallepicciola is an estate and winery owned and “created” by the Bolfo family, to be more precise by Bruno Bolfo and his sister Giuseppina Bolfo. The Bolfo family comes from a completely different industry, Bruno Bolfo is the president of the Duferco Group in the steel sector. In 1999, they acquired an old convent in the Pievasciata locality that they decided to renovate and turn into the 5-star resort Le Fontanelle. In 2007, they decided to expand by buying up 80 hectares of almost abandoned vineyards from a neighboring estate, of which 22 hectares of Sangiovese.
Experienced Winemaker at Vallepicciola
In the past, their oenologist was Riccardo Cotarella but in 2020 Alessandro Cellai entered the scene. His vision can be said to lie very close to that of the legendary Giacomo Tachis who was indeed also a sort of mentor or guiding light for Cellai.
Cellai’s career developed professionally at Domini Castellare di Castellina group where he worked for over 20 years up until his arrival at Vallepicciola in 2020. Since the early 2000s, he has also been involved with winemaking at Feudi del Pisciotto winery in Niscemi in southern Sicily.