We are in Montalcino, in the hamlet of Castelnuovo dell’Abate. The 13th century observation tower which then became the Poderi Loreto and San Pioculminates on the hill at a height of 400 metres, two kilometres from the Orcia River mouth, between the Rocca d’Orcia and Castiglione d’Orcia.
200 m below, the famous overflow river passes.
The vineyards look to the south, south-east, some to south-west. The woods and steep rocks are dispersed like leopard spots. Each has its own geological characteristic: those to the south-easthave more clay and tuff with sandstone inserts. The river conglomerate with limy pebbles can be found in the south and south-west facing vineyards.
These are in any case very sparse lands with very low yield which require the vines to have years and years of rooting in order to reach the nutrients they need. For this reason the oldest vines give the best wines, such as that from the famous vigna Cru Schiena d’Asino which takes its name from the shape of the hill, positioned south-east to south-west.
Schiena d’Asino and other vineyards have even more plants than they did in 1975. As one died it was substituted with a new vine to maintain the average age of the vineyard for as long as possible.
The Mastrojanni cellar emerges in the area to the north-east of the estate. Part of the must ferments in cement and part in wood. This historic cellar which has grown with the estate today is used for vinification, bottling and bottle ageing.
The grapes are destemmed following a careful selection in the vineyard of the ripest and healthiest grape clusters, moving to the historic Mastrojanni cement tanks, where they will ferment for a few days. The best grapes are left to ferment in Vosges wooden vats which allow further tannins from the wood to be attained, as was done in the past.
Once the vinification cycle is complete, the wine is “racked” into large wooden barrels and begins its fining process in wood which can last up to 42 months. Then, once bottled, it will still have to age for at least another six months in the bottle.