Maria Sole Giannelli is a free spirit. Whilst studying at the Slow Food University of Culinary Arts in Pollenzo she became a disciple of the philosophies of both Masanobu Fukuoka and Rudolf Steiner. On returning to Ficomontanino (Little Mountain Fig), her family farm located just outside Chiusi in 2014, Maria Sole set about translating everything she had learnt into new viticultural practises.
Maria Sole saw her vineyards as part of a much larger natural ecosystem specific to her Southern Tuscan terroir located at the border between Lazio and Umbria. The Ficomontanino terroir is characterised by sandy soils, the presence of silica and abundant light permeating the grape vines and surrounding vegetation. Maria Sole’s goal became to allow all these natural elements to transmit purely and undiluted into her wines along with the spirit of the people that crafted them.
“Best wines” in the absolute sense don’t exist, there’s only the best way to mirror the terroir and the people that make the wine. In order to reach this objective the best way is natural viticulture and winemaking –Maria Sole Giannelli
Maria Sole’s approach to viticulture is based on maintaining equilibrium with nature. “I follow the lunar calendar, I watch the winds and the humidity, and this allows me to employ natural products in use in Homeopathy and in Biodynamics. Clearly, I don’t use chemicals. I want to inherit and pass down the tradition of this borderland and besides Sangiovese I grow other varieties that are less known like Verdello, Ciliegiolo, Gamay from Trasimeno, all varietals that have found a home in this area for centuries.” – Maria Sole Giannelli
Maria Sole’s approach in the cellar has gradually refined over the years ever seeking to unveil yet more expressiveness and transparency of the Ficomontanino terroir through decreasing interventions. The use of wood (old neutral oak when called for) is far less pronounced at Ficomontanino than is the norm with cement, amphora and glass demijohns used to mesmerising effect.
The resulting wines are intellectual, hauntingly pure and above all else, every bit the free spirit that Maria Sole is herself. How it is possible to capture the utter delights of unbridled terroir in a bottle will simply blow you away when you pull the cork. Profound doesn’t even begin to do this accomplishment the justice it deserves.
Ultravino is the UK exclusive importer
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