The winery we’re going to talk about this month is located in Valiano, in Via di Terra Rossa, along the sunny countryside that separates Cortona from Montepulciano. Lunadoro is a relatively young farming business, compared to the historical wineries of Montepulciano – as it can be easily seen from the modern building that welcomes visitors on the roadside. However, it is renowned for its quality and it has received prestigious awards from trade magazines, and it has got the attention of the major players in the international market.
During the visit to the winery, I am with the new director Adriano Annovi, the reception manager Samira and Riccardo, manager of the winery. We visit the barrel room, with long barrels neatly arranged in a charming atmosphere, then we move along the vineyards, to see the grapes ripening.
Lunadoro, as mentioned before, it is a relatively young business: the former owners acquired the farm in early 2000 and the first production took place in 2004. Over the years, the work has been focused on the quality of vineyards and the performing of the modern winery, with a well-fitting blend of technology and tradition. The good results have attracted the interest of Schenk Group, which acquired the company in 2016 and since a few months which has continued the activities in the production of Vino Nobile. The Schenk Group is a large Swiss group, with wineries throughout Europe; in addition to the wineries in Bolzano and Treviso, in Italy the group has decided to invest on Lunadoro because of the value of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
“Lunadoro is a small winery, compared to the others of Schenk Group – explains Adriano – and here, we are going to do a different job. This is the first farm that the group has totally acquired in Italy and it has not to lose its own identity. It will remain a rarity, the main winery of the group in Italy. This winery was born to make quality wine and must continue to do so. Investments will therefore be focused to improve the vineyards, the wine making process and refinement, enhancing the technology and the brand, but always putting quality over quantity”.
The annual production of Lunadoro settles around 60.000 bottles and focuses mainly on Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile. The production goes on the market a year later, than the minimum specification, following the directions of the oenologist Maurizio Saettini and the agronomist Egidio Finazzer, to allow the wine a better self-expression. Valiano is different from Montepulciano as soil, climate and exposure, so, with an extra year of aging in wood and bottle, Lunadoro wines can achieve the highest quality.
The farm has a total of 12 hectares, mainly divided into two parts: the first one is the Pagliareto farm, in Via di Terra Rossa, the other one is the Quercione, which runs alongside the road to Cortona. The wine is named after the name of the soil: Lunadoro, as a matter of fact, produces a Vino Nobile named “Pagliareto”, a Riserva Nobile named “Quercione” and a Rosso di Montepulciano named “Prugnanello”.
From the point of view of hospitality, this is year zero for the new management of Lunadoro, but the signs are to implement the activities, and to increase the possibility of visiting the farm, through visits to the winery and vineyards, and through tastings and events. The winery is open for tours and tastings throughout the summer, from Monday to Saturday, from 9 to 18. During the visits, Adriano and Samira explain the company philosophy and its products, illustrating the characteristics of the wines and the motivations which defines a certain type of choices.
“The modern wine customer is extremely curious, is well prepared and ready to learn, but sometimes he does not know some basics that are likely to take him on the wrong track. For example, the difference between the wooden barrel and the one made of metal, the importance of technology and innovation. To make quality, a minimum of technology is needed, without it, you are likely to waste in the cellar what is done in the fields”.
The production of Lunadoro focuses on the Vino Nobile, because its value and its international accreditation. Nobile is a Tuscan wine, and Tuscany is a particularly appreciated brand in the foreign market. Despite the large supply of wine in the international market, Lunadoro wants to keep the winery to its current size, focusing on excellence and quality, rather than numbers.
“We believe so much in the Vino Nobile and Montepulciano, we are excited about this challenge – concludes Adriano – We believe in the product and in the territory, we think it can still have room for improvement and it has great potential as quality and added value. The impact after the first few months is very good: when you see the satisfaction in the customers who try the product, you know you made the right choices and you have to continue on this path, it is the greatest reward!”
For visits and information: Via di Terra Rossa, Valiano di Montepulciano (SI) – Tel: +39 348 2215188 (temporary phone numer) – website: www.nobilelunadoro.it (in progress)