Winery of the Month: Poliziano
The poet Angelo Ambrogini was one of the most important figures of the Renaissance and was born in Montepulciano, amongst the ancient streets of a village surrounded by hills and lush vineyards. The name of the farm Poliziano is precisely inspired by this illustrious personality of Montepulciano: one of the largest producers of Vino Nobile of our territory, who, in more than fifty years of history, has made major investments in the industry and continues to design new ideas for the future. We get to know it better and we visit the cellars, thanks to the owner of the company, Federico Carletti.
The farm Poliziano was born in 1961 from a small farm in the hamlet of Montepulciano Stazione, purchased by the owner’s father, Dino Carletti and an associate, colonel Della Giovampaola. Both were locals and they had been working around Italy: it was a romantic purchase, dictated by the idea of returning home after retirement. The farm was conducted as sharecroppers and it was used for breeding, then the new owners planted the first twenty hectares of vineyards and began to build cellars. From that romantic idea of returning to his native village, the farm Poliziano has grown enormously throughout the years: from the small wine-producing house, that sold wine in bulk and in carboys, mainly to local people who had moved to Prato, in Rome or in northern Italy, to be one of the main reference points for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in the international scene.
Federico Carletti began working in the company in 1980, after graduating in agronomy in Florence and after having conducted professional experience in wineries of northern Italy; through a very close dialogue with the producers of Chianti Classico, he implemented significant investments and development strategies for Poliziano wine, which led to the creation of the new brand in 1982, and to the renewal of viticulture techniques and to the opening to international markets .
“The attitude of the world market towards Tuscan wine has totally changed in the ’80s – he tells us. We have to give credit to the Sassicaia ‘85, an extraordinary wine that changed the view of the rest of the world towards Tuscan wines. At that time, I was very young and I followed the course of these manufacturers, and we realized there was a chance of selling good bottled wine, even with considerable prices, in the international market.”
In the ‘90s, the Poliziano company has set many investments, thanks to the construction of the new fermentation cellar and a new reception hall; the amount of land covered by vineyard has increased with time, as well as the number of people employed: now the company can count sixteen permanent employees and it get to ninety people with seasonal staff during harvest.
The farm is located in Montepulciano Stazione, while the vineyards are situated on the road which leads to the centre of Montepulciano from Valiano. The company has about 130 hectares between Montepulciano, Torrita and Chianciano, and a small company of 27 hectares in Maremma. The latest purchase includes about 15 hectares in the Caggiole area, which has considerably improved the average quality of the company.
From the various production areas Poliziano wines are derived. Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, produced since 1989, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, produced for the first time in 1969, the selection of Vino Nobile “Asinone” produced in the homonymous vineyard since 1983 and then the Tuscan IGT Red wine “Le Stanze” produced since 1987. Together with the wines of Montepulciano, which represent the main part of the production, we can add the Cortona Merlot DOC, coming from the vineyards of Cortona, and the Chianti from vineyards of Torrita and Chianciano. Finally, the Morellino di Scansano and Mandrone di Lohsa produced in the company in Maremma. Overall, the farm Poliziano has an average production of about one million bottles per year, of which about 750.000 of Montepulciano wines.
“For the future, we have new projects. – Federico Carletti anticipates – We are working on opening a new exhibition space in Via del Poliziano, in connection with the historic house of Poliziano: a luxury exhibition that links the story of the poet to our wine. And we are working on a new wine, which will be marketed from 2018: a Vino Nobile with 100% Sangiovese grapes, coming from the new vineyards of Caggiole, of exceptional quality. Still it has no name, but we want to make it the star of demonstrations and international campaigns, together with other big companies. We hope it will be a success, it would be a success for the whole city.”
The farm Poliziano is available for tours and tastings: in recent years, it has made many investments in the reception area, through the establishment of a brand new tasting room where groups of different experience can be received. The opening for the light lunch at lunch time has given excellent results, because many tourists have been interested in this time slot to visit the cellars and taste the Vino Nobile.
Federico Carletti has also served as President of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile for five years; in his view, the Vino Nobile could be stronger as an image in the international arena, it could have more ability to attract the opinion leaders of the industry, and properly inform the local people and restaurants between the difference with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and their vines.
“Montepulciano definitely has the potential: it is an amazing and beautiful country. In some ways, Montepulciano is more beautiful than its wine. But it lacks of facilities, there is no parking, connections from the train station. It is a difficult town and we should make it more accessible. It has big potential, it is a beautiful and fascinating country, still quite true to itself: in this moment, it should be wisely nestled in the worldwide tourism, perhaps taking advantage of a road which directly links together Cortona and Pienza.”
(To visit and for info: Via Fontago 1, Montepulciano Stazione (SI) – Telephone: +39 0578 738171 – website: www.carlettipoliziano.com )