The "Valentiano" is the name of the new farm estate , it takes its origin from the joining of the names Valentina and Fabiano, it has also got a logo whose symbol has been borrowed from Celtic mythology: the tree of life, the roots of which tangle with the branches to show the circularity of life. The estate is situated on the south-west side of the hill of Montalcino and it is fully steeped in the Mediterranean macchia which grows wildly here and gives very peculiar sensations. When you climb up to the town of Montalcino from either the East or the West side, you immediately and clearly perceive a pleasant change: the air suddenly becomes fresh, crispy, full of scent and fragrance, which makes breathing easier and one is run through by a sense of lightness and nimbleness. The colour nuances are heart-taking: the bright nuances of green are really unique, the sounds are incomparable: what a wonderful, overwhelming concert can be heard at dawn and at sunset. Hundreds of birds start chirping as if they were calling one another for play or love and create such melodies that one can't be but enchanted.
Most of the estate, 400 m. above the sea level, is covered with macchia and the reddish growing lands show that the soil is rich in iron and clay, which perfectly drain it and together with the microclimate make it the perfect soil for the growing of vines and olive trees. Most of them were planted in the '90s and some date back to the '70s. Sangiovese is the only used vine while the olive trees range from the Leccino to Moraiolo and Olivastra. The winery, which has been recently fixed, is endowed with the most modern technologies in the enological field: temperature and humidity-controlled fermentation barrels, modern worm pumps, and anything which our income has made it possible.
The way we grow vineyards is the typical one: a spurred row of vines which includes about 4000 plants per hectare. We generally start toiling the soil after vintage and at the beginning of the year vines are pruned. Each plant is left with 4 fruit heads with two buds which will bear a shoot with two bunches of grapes each. At Springtime the tiny, little twigs are cut off and the shoots are carefully tied up vertically to avoid one grows longer than the other. At Summertime vines are trimmed and thinned out, which happens through three different phases: the first when they start becoming dark and the topmost bunches are cut off, the second when they are already black and the late ripening bunches are cut off and the last one just a few days before the picking and vintage to remove the improper ones. The purpose of all this is to get one bunch of grapes per shoot and 8 bunches weighing 200 grams each per vine plant in order to keep to the proportion of 1Kg of grapes per square meter of sunshine exposed vine. A further selection of the grapes takes place during the picking which is compulsory hand made and with small baskets. At the mouth of the stalk-removing machine the bunches are still further selected one by one to remove, if there are any, the improper ones left. These vintage selections help to fix which tanks, obviously the very best, are for Brunello wine, which for Rosso D.O.C. and which are for Rosso I.G.T. Every further process is now in the hands of the cellar people. The grapes, removed from their stalks and softly pressed (trod), have to undergo a 2 day pre -fermentative steeping under a controlled temperature of 15° C., afterwards they are let free to ferment but temperature must never be over 28° C. As soon as the fermentation is over, the containers locked with a cask filler and the racking takes place 25 days after vintage. The marcs are now pressed with a pneumatic pressing machine which has a maximum pressure of o,8 BAR in order to get only the purest wine. Within 48 hours the marcs are sent to a local distillery which prepares the wine distillate. The young wine is now left in the containers at a constant temperature of 22 C. to help the malolactic fermentation. At the end of this last phase the wine is separated from the dregs and poured into the oak casks for refining: 8/12 months for the Red and 24/36 months for Brunello. After cask ageing the wine is bottled for bottle refining.
The environmental issue is getting more and more important in the work of a farmer who has to be very attentive to the risks run when using certain products for the preservation and maintenance of crops. After the second World War, in most of the industrialized countries the chemical industry released products which had a great impact on the environment and were also very dangerous to man's health. A clear example of all this is DDT which, in the 60s, was largely used in crops and also at home as insect-spray. From this point of view Montalcino countryside has been quite lucky because a large number of farmers, in the 60s and 70s, abandoned the country to go and live in towns. That's why the worst chemicals were not used as parasiticides, herbicidals and insecticides, so allowing the soil to remain clean and uncontaminated. In the 80s thanks to a more widespread and careful information farmers started to be more attentive to what they used to preserve the soil even because they themselves might have suffered the consequences. In our vineyards, for the growing of the vines, we only use products like copper and sulphur which prevent our vines from being attacked by diseases like: downy and powdery mildew. Such natural products form a thin protective film that stops the vine from being attacked by pathogenic germs, lasts for two weeks and can easily be washed off leaving non traces. As we stop treating the vines in July and the grape harvest will be end of September/beginning of October there won't be any traces left on the grapes. The treatment has a preventive function so only the minimum quantity of the active elements is used. To stop other calamities like the red and yellow spiders we put antagonistic insects in the vineyards, the wind is of great help, too, as it defends the vineyards from botrytis and acid rot. As to the weeds we don't use any sort weedkiller, we simply use proper tools that completely remove brushwood. The soil is naturally manured. Olive trees have never been treated as there has never been any need. We must also say that crops are properly run thanks to the rooted farming culture of Fabiano and the academic culture of Valentina, she is a biologist and we can proudly admit to be the only ones with such a cultural background in Montalcino area.