When I first heard about Gabriele and his winery I was in Lucca. They spoke about him almost like he was a recluse or an hermit. Well indeed, as he said to me the first time we met he was kind of a hermit for many years: "when I thought of making wine in Garfagnana, there wasn't a winery within 60 km, nor a wine with a label or a faint recollection of what had once been the highest vineyard of Tuscany."
In fact this corner of Tuscany, it is a bit forgotten by God. Even for Italians, Tuscany normally starts from Lucca (the closest city from Gabriele's vineyards) and most of us forgets that in Tuscany there is an area between Emilia, Liguria and Tuscany with Alps: the Apuane Alps. Today, this area is living a real renaissance because it is still so authentic and, well, outstandingly beautiful.
Most of the Garfagnana uniqueness and beauty can be addressed to its Alps and the river Serchio. This river indeed creates a fantastic micro-climate by mitigating the mountains weather with the mild sea breeze that runs within its valley.
The constant breeze blowing from the Apennines and the specific soil composition, marked by silica, sand and shale, allow this region to produce wines with an authentic expression, reminiscent of Loire valley wines for their acidity, freshness and elegance.
Walking in the vineyard. The heroic winemaking of Gabriele.
Podere Concori includes about 5 hectares of vineyards, rooted on rich soils and located at about 400 meters above sea level, with a part of the vines over 60 years of age. The varieties grown include Syrah, Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco and Chenin Blanc, vines that have demonstrated an exceptional adaptation to this area of Upper Tuscany.
The agronomic management follows the principles of natural and biodynamic agriculture, with the work in the vineyard that is carried out almost exclusively by hand without the use of any synthetic chemical substance. The same respectful approach to the raw material is adopted in the cellar, where the long fermentations take place rigorously spontaneously and the masses are not subjected to any clarification and filtration operations which would alter the natural expression of the wines.
The wines proposed by Gabriele impress with their purity and spontaneity, with Syrah representing the spearhead of the production. Unfortunately, due to the limited production we often get them sold out before the new vintages is out. I guess that part of the beauty of working with human size wineries such as Podere Concori.