Joy of Terroir 2011

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August - Isole e Olena, Tuscany

Set in the central part of the Chianti Classico DOCG, 450m above sea level, is one of Tuscany’s most revered estates. Once two separate hilltop hamlets, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’ were purchased and merged by the De Marchi family in the 1950s. Today led by Paolo de Marchi, who took over in 1976, Isole e Olena now covers 50 hectares of vineyards after an extensive replanting project. The soil is a mixture of rock, sandstone and clay that allows sufficient drainage in heavy rainfall (approximately 900mm annually) while retaining a degree of moisture. While 70% of the estate’s production is given over to a traditional Chianti Classico and Vin Santo, more of its wines are now made outside the DOCG regulations, as IGTs. Examples include the 100% Sangiovese Cepparello and varietal wines from Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.