Altitude of Vineyards The vineyard is divided into three lots of different ages ranging from the oldest at about 25 years old to the two most recent of 15 and 10 years of age. The vines are at an altitude of 420-440m above sea level and are to the south east of Montalcino in an area that is well ventilated with an excellent microclimate. The pebbly soil together with the altitude make the wine soft and well balanced in acidity.
Production per hectare The production of grapes per hectare of vineyard is between 25 and 40 quintals often notable differences from year to year due the weather conditions and bunch thinning. The annual production varies between 8,000 and 13,000 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino.
Production and training techniques The difference in ages of the vines determines their characteristics starting from the density of plants per hectare which, in the oldest vineyard is 3,000/ha with a planting distance of 3m while in the youngest vineyard there is a density of 5,000/ha with 2.5m between the vines. We use a simple cordon spur training system for the younger vines and a double cordon in the oldest vineyard where the distance between vines is larger. Pruning leaves only one bud, which results in a significant reduction in the quantity of fruit. After the green pruning and the following phases of flowering and fruit setting, we perform additional pruning called “green harvest” during which a first but essential thinning is carried out to ensure that each remaining shoot leads to the ripening of only one bunch. From this procedure comes an almost maniacal attention to the quality of every single bunch so that there is never an abundant quantity of grapes, but rather a focus on their exceptional quality. Additional sweeping of the vineyards, even during the ripening stage, guarantees a check on the quality of each bunch so that when the harvest time arrives, there is a low quantity but with very high quality. The harvest usually starts at the end of September or the beginning of October. The ripeness of the grapes is checked with frequent tests.
Vinification Vinification takes place in the cellar of the winery located next to the vineyards in 35-40hl stainless steel vats and usually lasts 28-30 days depending on the vintage. The fermentation occurs naturally in the days following the harvest where there is no temperature control, and it is for this reason we intervene only when hot temperatures require frequent pumping over and délestage, which cool the wine down.
Ageing After racking, the clean wine remains in the stainless steel vats for a few more months during which time the malolactic fermentation occurs very naturally before it is put in barrels. For ageing the wine, the winery has always used big 18-22hl medium toasted Slavonian oak barrels. Even today the barrels are located in two cellars: one on the estate where the oldest barrels are kept while the newer barrels are in the cellar in the historic centre of Montalcino.
Bottle Ageing Once Brunello has completed its ageing period in barrels, which often lasts up to 36 months, it is bottled where it ages until it.
Tasting notes The ruby red colour of a young Brunello attenuates during its evolution leaving hints of light garnet which change as the wine ages. The structure is rich in dry extracts which reach up to 32-33gr/l. Tannins are present but soft with a long finish. Brunello Salvioni is excellent with roasted red meats and skewers of wild game while the older vintages improve over time even as meditation wines.