“Podere Le Lipi is the place of my life.” That is how winemaker Francesco Illy describes the estate and winery in Montalcino. This place in Tuscany comprises 50 hectares of vineyards, olive trees and forest and was inhabited by a shepherd with his sheep until 1998. Francesco was a nature photographer at the time and came across this unique estate during his work. He fell in love instantly and knew right away: “This is the place I want to be.”
The vineyards are separated into two parts on either side of the village of Montalcino. Both parts have completely different characteristics and terroirs. On the west side of the village, the vines grow 150 meters above sea level. The sticks are shaded by the surrounding hills in the morning, but later in the day they enjoy the evening sun. The vineyards are arranged according to the true Montalcino tradition of 4,500 vines per hectare, with the cordon pruning method. The soil consists, among other things, of the typical Italian Galestro soil. This soil is a combination of marl with weathered slate and limestone. From these plots come the wines Sogni e Follia (Rosso di Montalcino DOC) and Cielo d'Ulisse (Brunello di Montalcino DOCG).
On the east side, the vineyards are slightly higher, at about 250 meters above sea level. In contrast to the west side, this part gets warmed up in the morning. The terroir is characterized by the 5-million-year-old oceanic clay. The soil is therefore quite salty, but also very rich in lime from the sea fossils. These properties ensure that the wines get a good structure and body. These plots have a higher planting density that varies from 5,000 to 11,000 sticks per hectare. The pruning method for these vines is also different. The vines are pruned according to the guyot method. The east side of Montalcino is the driest part of the region. For that reason, the Sangiovese has a high intensity, but still with a mineral tone due to the soil conditions. The wines Bonsai, Lupi e Sirene and Amore e Magia come from this part of Montalcino. The Lupi e Sirene and Amore e Magia are classified as Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Bonsai is the world's most densely planted vineyard with some 62,000 vines per hectare. Due to this high density, the Bonsai falls into the IGT Toscana Rosso category. Nevertheless, this is still one of the most important wines of Podere Le Lipi.
Each and every one of Francesco's wines is unique, each with its own identity. Furthermore, the wines have an enormous aging potential!Read more