My first encounter with Rossella's wine can be compared to those situations where a common friend sets you up for a date.
Last spring (2023 if you are reading this in the far future) I was in Montalcino visiting the Fonterenza winery. After few glasses with Margherita I asked her a simple but quite startling question: "which wine at the moment do you enjoy the most outside your own?" She started smiling (she thought I was joking) but few seconds after she got all serious and started researching (I guess) in the backlog of her memory. After few seconds of silence (it was getting awkward) she replies me with a quite satisfied expression: "Without any doubt, the Carmignano from Fattoria di Bacchereto".
I must have triggered her tastebuds, cause after few seconds she went and picked up a bottle of Carmignano; and well, that is why you ended up reading these lines here.
Fattoria di Bacchereto is located in the hamlet of Bacchereto, within the municipality of Carmignano (between Florence and Prato), where Rossella Bencini Tesi and her trusted cellar master Marco Vannucci produce natural wines that are forged by Rossella's vision of spontaneously artisanal production philosophy.
For many natural winemakers, she is a sort of living-legend as she was one of the first adopting the chemical-free winemaking approach.
This historic estate was born in the 15th century and was once a hunting reserve for the noble Medici family. In the 1920s the farm was bought by Rossella's grandfather and over time the family has contributed to the enhancement and preservation of the Carmignano: one of the oldest wines in all of Italy. Carmignano can be considered the progenitor of the Supertuscans, as - since the 16th century - in the area it was the practice to assemble Sangiovese and Cabernet, a vine that was imported from France by the Medici.
The lands of Fattoria di Bacchereto extend over 167 hectares, of which 60 dedicated to olive groves, 8 reserved for vines and the remaining part occupied by woods, meadows, orchards and chestnut groves, which paint a landscape of rich biodiversity. A truly enchanting place.
The vineyards are located between 200 and 500 meters and they are as old as the estate. Here we can find red grape varieties Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the native white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti. All the processes are manual and on the dictates of biodynamics while in the cellar the fermentations are completely spontaneous and the use of adjuvants and oenological additives is banned, as is that of clarification or filtration operations.
There are essentially three labels made by Rossella's winery: Carmignano, Bianco 'Sassocarlo' and Vin Santo. These artisan interpretations - with an almost ancestral charm- , are capable of evoking a genuine dimension that reflects the most authentic face of wine-growing Tuscany. For this reason, once you have tasted her wines it will be difficult to do without them.