Donna Laura Alteo Chianti 2012
The story of Donna Laura Wines is a nomadic discovery of heritage and matriarchal devotion as linear as the winding roads that weave through the hillsides and vineyards of Tuscany. The history follows vintner Lia Tolaini Banville from her birthplace in Canada to her ancestral home outside the city of Lucca, where at the age of six on her family's annual summer holiday, Lia met her Aunt Laura who would become a driving force in in her life . Laura was mother to three rough-and-tumble boys and immediately bonded with Lia. Thus began the tradition of yearly visits where during the warm summer days and nights Laura would instill in Lia an appreciation for Italian culture, history, music and most of all art. Laura's presence in Lia's life would inspire her as a mother, cook,
In 2004 an opportunity arose to write a new chapter in the story, this time in Castelnuovo Berardenga with the production of the Chianti wine label Donna Laura. A loving tribute to the woman whose lessons of family, tradition and honor would share double billing with Lia's own heritage. Roman gods Venus, Bacchus and Cupid personifying Lia's children adorn the labels of Donna Laura Wines, celebrating this legacy of devotion to family and affirming the adage ' Who turns, who turns , always at home goes to end ' - no matter where you go or turn you will always end up at home.
The approach to viticulture and winemaking at Donna Laura reflects the nurturing, wholesome environment shaped by these strong women. In the vineyards an absolute respect for the soil, vines and future of the land is cultivated through careful and constant attention. These practices include green harvesting as necessary, planting cover crops to enrich the nutrients in the soil and forgoing the use of harmful chemicals to maintain a pristine and sustainable ecosystem in optimal balance. In the winery organic principles are applied by incorporating modern technology, sparing usage of sulfites and a sterile environment all while honoring the traditions of this historic region.
Famous for its food-friendly, approachable red wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This appellation within Tuscany has it all: sweeping views of rolling hills, endless vineyards, the warm Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine and a rich artistic heritage. Chianti includes seven subzones: Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Rufina, Montalbano, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini and Montespertoli, with area beyond whose wines can be labeled simply as Chianti.
However the best quality comes from Chianti Classico, in the heart of the Chianti zone, which is no longer a subzone of the region at all but has been recognized on its own since 1996. The Classico region today is delimited by the confines of the original Chianti zone protected since the 1700s.
Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 25-30% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Colorino and Mammolo, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are allowed as long as they are grown within the same zone.
Basic, value-driven Chianti wine is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner. At its apex, Chianti is full bodied but with good acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic and tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.