This week’s Wine Wednesday is dedicated to Fattoria Poggio Alloro. I met a couple of members of the family last year at the Anteprime Toscane in San Gimignano and had the pleasure of spending this year’s dinner with them as well. I was enchanted both my their wines and their easy going nature. The winery is part of the larger family farm. They grow everything.
In addition to wine, they also grow olives for olive oil, barley, oats, corn, sunflowers, durum, wheat, and farro to produce pasta, saffron and have around 30 beehives which produce honey. They, of course, have an agriturismo and run all sorts of classes. Sarah Fioroni, who currently runs the farm with other members of her family, wrote a cookbook which you can find here.
Sarah was very impressive both for her knowledge of the area and the wines but also because of her passion for her family. Sarah is the third generation of her family to work in the business. Her family was part of the Mezzadria, They came to Tuscany from Le Marche where they were farmers. When they got to San Gimignano she says they looked down and realized they could work the ground. The Mezzadria ended in 1970 but until that time, the workers had to give the owners 50% of their crops. She is rightly proud of how much their hard work has paid off. Three families all work together and they now have a fourth generation working on the farm. They have 136 hectares in total. About 24 hectares are dedicated to vines, mostly indigenous Italian ones but some international varietals as well. They have farmed organically for the past twenty years.
We tried a number of their wines including the Vernaccia San Gimignano 2017 D.O.C.G., Vernaccia di San Gimignano Nicchiaio 2017 D.O.C.G. and their Vernaccia di San Gimignano Le Mandorle 2016 D.O.C.G.
Their D.O.C.G. Le Mandorle ferments and ages in oak while their D.O.C.G. San Gimignano ferments and ages in stainless steel and in the bottle. I am a bit of a traditionalist with Vernaccia and prefer the version in stainless steel when I am sipping Vernaccia but with a meal with a bit of structure, the oaked version works nicely as well.
In general I enjoyed the Vernaccia that I tasted during the Anteprime Toscane thanks to the Consorzio del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano. I like the 2018 and the 2017 Riservas. The Consorzio also hosted a seminar which I will write about separately.
All three of the Fattoria Poggio Alloro wines had that classic Vernaccia note of white flowers, peach, good acidity and minerality and a slightly bitter almond note on the finish.
I can’t wait to visit the farm the next time I am in San Gimignano. For now, I am happy sipping on their Vin Santo at home.