ColleMassari’s Wines Encapsulate the Essence of an Unspoilt Tuscany

From the Poggio Lombrone to the Melacce, each bottle of ColleMassari reflects the viticultural legacy of this pristine corner of Italy

A wide landscape photograph of ColleMassari vineyards
ColleMassari highlights and preserves Tuscany’s rich viticultural traditions and environment. Photo courtesy of ColleMassari.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, ColleMassari.

On the foothills of Mount Amiata, cradled between the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and the rolling hills of southern Tuscany to the east, lies the Maremma region, its landscape adorned with lush vineyards, ancient olive groves, and cypress trees. The winemaking tradition in this pristine area of central Italy has deep roots, tracing back to the times of the Etruscans—an Iron Age civilization that predates the Romans. When siblings Claudio Tipa and Maria Iris Bertarelli established the ColleMassari winery there in 1998, their aim was to pay homage to and preserve the region’s rich tradition of winemaking. 

Since its inception, ColleMassari’s pursuit for excellence has been guided not only by a deep reverence for the land, but also by a profound commitment to its people. By emphasizing teamwork and fostering an educational culture centered on “learning by living”—where knowledge grows through direct engagement with the environment—ColleMassari benefits its team and ensures that every aspect of its winemaking is closely intertwined with Maremma’s unique viticultural terroir. 

With this ethos, ColleMassari’s wines have been instrumental in enhancing the quality and international reputation of Maremma’s Montecucco denomination, whose establishment in 1998 coincided with the foundation of ColleMassari itself. The winery’s integral role in shaping the region’s vinicultural landscape has been evident since the release of its inaugural 2000 vintage and continues to benefit the region’s reputation today.

A Commitment to Sustainability From Architecture to Viticulture 

Designed by renowned architect Edoardo Milesi, the ColleMassari winery epitomizes his approach: Milesi’s principles of bio-architecture informed every aspect of the project, from the selection of materials to the overall design, with a particular focus on maximizing energy efficiency. The use of untreated cedar wood, for instance, ensured that the structure blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings while maintaining a low environmental impact. The winery’s vertical structure is also intended to minimize its footprint on the surrounding natural landscape. 

The gravity-flow cellar, which spans four levels, allows for the movement of grapes and must solely by gravity, eliminating the need for pumps or other mechanical means. Meanwhile, the subterranean aging cellar is nestled deep within the solid rock, providing a naturally stable and cool environment year-round that is ideal for the long maturations of its wines. Such innovative choices not only cleverly enhance operational efficiency, they significantly reduce the winery’s energy consumption, too.

Beyond the winery walls, ColleMassari’s commitment to sustainability permeates its land cultivation practices, with the entire estate—a thriving ecosystem consisting of nearly 1,000 acres of farmland, 222 acres of olive groves, and about 300 acres of vineyards—maintained through organic methods. Situated at an elevation of 1,050 feet above sea level, the vineyards are strategically oriented toward the Tyrrhenian coast. This prime location nurtures an optimal microclimate: significant diurnal temperature variations enhance the grapes’ freshness and flavor complexity, while coastal breezes mitigate the risk of diseases, reducing the necessity for intensive preventative measures.

A bottle of ColleMassari Rosso Riserva is poured into a wine glass
ColleMassari’s wines are made from Tuscany’s best grapes, like Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo. Photo courtesy of ColleMassari.

Bottling the Quintessential Grapes of Tuscany 

ColleMassari’s vineyards predominantly feature Sangiovese, the quintessential grape of Tuscany. The estate also cultivates Ciliegiolo—a minor yet highly regarded and historical local variety—alongside Montepulciano and Cabernet Sauvignon, both of which thrive in the Maremma region. ColleMassari’s red grapes take center stage in its intensely aromatic and robustly structured Super Tuscan, the ColleMassari Riserva. 

The ColleMassari Riserva is spontaneously fermented in both stainless steel and open-top oak vats, the process involving lengthy macerations and daily manual punching down, followed by 18 months of maturation in tonneaux and large 40-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks. Crafted primarily from Sangiovese, the wine is enhanced by equal parts of Ciliegiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The Sangiovese component delivers vibrant fruitiness and subtle spice, complemented by a robust structure promising remarkable longevity. Ciliegiolo contributes smoothness and an additional layer of red fruit aromas, while Cabernet Sauvignon infuses the wine with its characteristic depth and nuanced bouquet. The culmination is a harmonious and refined wine that mirrors the viticultural legacy of this pristine corner of Tuscany.

A smaller portion of ColleMassari’s vineyards is dedicated to the cultivation of white grape varieties. A limited section is allocated to Grechetto, while a larger expanse is devoted to Vermentino, the flagship of all Tuscan white grapes. Flourishing elegantly on the slopes of the estate, this classic, delicately perfumed Mediterranean variety benefits from the characteristic warm days and cool nights of these vineyards’ microclimate, which translate in heightened aromatics and a vibrant palate.

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Vermentino takes center stage in ColleMassari’s leading white wine, Melacce, a Maremma Toscana DOC that mesmerizes the senses with its bold, saline character. It undergoes fermentation in stainless steel vats at low temperature to preserve the typical varietal aromas, followed by a short period of refinement in steel tanks

Protecting Tuscany’s Old Vines  

ColleMassari’s profound connection to the natural environment informs its efforts to safeguard the local agricultural genetic legacy. The vineyards at ColleMassari are the result of meticulous mass selections from the region’s oldest and most prized vines. In collaboration with the Consorzio Agrario and the University of Pisa, ColleMassari established its initial plot by incorporating genetic material from four ultra-centenarian vineyards in the surrounding area. This plot then became the progenitor, serving to propagate all subsequent vineyards across the property. 

The ColleMassari estate is home to its own cherished legacy vineyard, too: Poggio Lombrone. Here, thrive vines of over 60 years of age; their fruits concur to the creation of the ColleMassari Montecucco DOCG Sangiovese Riserva expression that bears the vineyard’s namesake. ColleMassari’s olive groves also stand as a testament to the rich history of the Tuscan Maremma, with three trees having been silently witnessing the enduring legacy of this land for over 1,000 years.

This commitment to preserving and championing the winemaking and agricultural heritage of the Tuscan Maremma is evident in every bottle ColleMassari produces. From the Poggio Lombrone to the Melacce, each label encapsulates the very essence of this remarkably unspoiled corner of Tuscany.


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