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Tenuta di Arceno – The journey that never ends

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Craftsmanship at the service of a dream.

Tenuta di Arceno is the Italian wine enthusiast’s dream. Secluded and stunningly picturesque, the estate is located in the southernmost edge of the Chianti Classico region, in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga. Vines were first planted in this enclave of central-western Italy by the Etruscans in the 8th century BC, and wine has been made at Tenuta di Arceno since the 1500s.

A Tuscan dream

The surrounding landscape is the Tuscan dream brought to life; hilltop villages are dotted with cypress and olive trees, vines grow on the nearby hills, whilst rocky outcrops and verdant woods in the distance lead one to feel like they’ve found paradise on earth. It’s easy to see why the Jackson Family fell in love at first sight after they caught a glimpse of the property in 1994.

During the past 28 years, founding winemaker, Pierre Seillan has built a dream team comprised of vineyard manager Michele Pezzicoli and head winemaker Lawrence Cronin, who continue as the custodians of Tenuta di Arceno soils. This quality-focused philosophy embodies all things Tuscan and is a true representation of Chianti Classico.

Lawrence Cronin, Pierre Seillan and Michele Pezzicoli

Tenuta di Arceno’s winemakers Lawrence Cronin, Pierre Seillan and Michele Pezzicoli

Tradition and innovation

Tucked within this region of unrivalled historical pedigree, the estate possesses a diverse geology and topography that is very well suited to a diverse range of grape varieties. Tenuta di Arceno’s 1,012-hectare estate is planted with 112 hectares of vines showcasing two expressions of winemaking with both Italian and international grape varieties. Dedicated equally to the production of Chianti Classico DOCG and Toscana IGT wines, they view tradition and innovation as equally important.

Their long-term vision for the estate is rooted in a micro-cru viticultural philosophy; as they see it, site-specific and terroir-driven wines represent the future of Chianti Classico. A view that has been led by the highly competitive and globalised marketplace for fine wine, where celebrating points of difference has become de rigueur. Indeed, the modern connoisseur demands nothing less.

Diversity as a philosophy

Diversity has been part of estate’s DNA since the 16th century. Tenuta di Arceno proudly showcases 10 distinct mesoclimates and an eclectic palate of terroirs, including clay, galestro, sandstone, and basalt-based soils. In order to better understand this viticultural diversity, the team commissioned a detailed analysis of the estate’s soils and mesoclimates in 1996, used to this day to treat each parcel as a unique micro-cru with its own geological footprint.

The vineyards of Arceno, meanwhile, are at altitudes of 350-600 metres above sea level. At these elevations, diurnal temperature variation ensures that freshness is not sacrificed at the altar of phenolic ripeness. Moreover, each vineyard block at Arceno is subdivided into sections based on the individual terroir and soil types, resulting in 63 individual micro-sites. This enables the team to select the right varieties and clones for each particular parcel, creating a synergy between place and grape. In the production of fine wine, there is no more essential measure.

Precise expression

It has been said that all great winemakers follow the same path. ‘I am a servant of the soil. The pure expression of each unique site has, from the beginning, defined my micro-cru philosophy,’ explains Pierre Seillan, founding winemaker at Tenuta di Arceno. United by a shared love for precision, Seillan and winemaker Lawrence Cronin harvest and vinify every cru separately, each becoming a unique expression of the terroir. It is only in the final stages of the winemaking process that various micro-crus come together to create the finished wines.

Synergistic duality

From the outset, Pierre Seillan and Lawrence Cronin set out to give Sangiovese and international varieties equal billing. They have achieved this with Italian-inspired brio, fashioning wines that are complex, terroir-driven, and yet utterly approachable in their youth. The estate’s iconic faun (half human- half goat mythological creature) statue, much-loved by visitors, has become a powerful symbol of this duality. The statue converts a dichotomy into a unity – two natures in one body – in the same way that Tenuta di Arceno merges the dual expressions of DOCG and IGT wines into one signature style.

In addition to producing three exceptional Chianti Classico DOCG and three IGT wines, the team is always learning by trialling new varieties and exploring new site/grape combinations. It’s an open-ended enterprise, in which an infinity of precision is possible. At Tenuta di Arceno, the journey never ends.

Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico wines: 

Tenuta di Arceno Strada al Sasso Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2020

Gran Selezione Strada al Sasso

A single-vineyard expression of Sangiovese sourced exclusively from Strada al Sasso, considered the best block of Sangiovese on the Arceno estate. Impressively structured and concentrated, this represents the crème de la crème of Chianti Classico. It will improve in bottle for at least a decade.

Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva 2020

Chianti Classico Riserva

The grapes are sourced from the warmer south-facing blocks on the estate. Typically composed almost entirely of Sangiovese (10% Cabernet Sauvignon in certain vintages), the wine is matured for one year in small French oak barrels (90%). It represents the epitome of modern Chianti Classico with its dark colour, pure fruit, balance, power and velvety tannins.

Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico 2021

Chianti Classico Annata (vintage)

This exceptional Chianti Classico is based on grapes cultivated on some the coolest blocks at the estate, which accounts for the wine’s vibrant acidity. Composed of a judicious blend of Sangiovese (85%) and Merlot (15%), the wine showcases beautiful aromatics and a purity of fruit expression.

Discover more about Tentuta di Arceno

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