An Interview with Arillo in Terrabianca Winery
Terrabianca Vineyard Questions:
What is the history of the land you are on? What was it used for before your winery owned it or did someone else owned it previously?
The success story of Terrabianca started with Roberto and Maya Guldener in 1988 in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. The winery now called Arillo in Terrabianca is approaching a new era with the change of ownership with Adriana and Urs Burkard, a like-minded, equally committed family of Swiss and Italian origin. The charming Arillo in Terrabianca is surrounded by 12 hectares of vineyards in Radda in Chianti, as well as olive groves and forest. Another 36 hectares planted with Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are located in Maremma, near Massa Marittima.
Adriana and Urs are now taking care of these unique terroirs and vineyards with their passion and drive for excellence. Because the highest quality wines of the region can mature only with such care and uncompromising dedication.
Where does the water sources for the vineyard(s) come from?
We have natural water sources in all our properties; however, we are NOT allowed to irrigate the vineyards according to Chianti Classico regulations.
What trellising systems does the winery use? Why do you prefer that system?
We utilize the spurred cordon training system as it is most suitable to our terroir.
What are the different soil types from each of the vineyard sites? What do these soils do for your wines?
The estate TERRABIANCA in Radda in Chianti extends about 12 hectares at an altitude that goes from 360 to 460 meters above sea level and faces southeast. The soil has a medium clayey texture with a high percentage of gravel and a strong presence of trace elements and minerals. Elements, such as sulfur, give the soil its signature white spots, thus the name TERRABIANCA, meaning “white soil.” The soil is managed through total grassing to prevent erosion and minimize any mechanical intervention. As we said, we use a spurred cordon training system and carefully select the shoots to contain yield. The soils lead to the balance, freshness and elegance of the wines.
The TESORO estate is located in Valpiana, in the Maremma area. The vineyards extend 36 hectares and are located at an altitude of 160 meters above sea level, facing southeast. The soil has a medium texture with a high percentage of gravel, rich in minerals. It is located in the “Colline Metallifere grossetane.” The area is characterized by the numerous mineral deposits present in the subsoil.
We manage the soil through grassing in alternate rows to prevent erosive phenomena and minimize mechanical intervention. The wines are intense, full-bodied and elegant, due to the temperature ranges and microclimate and proximity to the sea and its breezes.
Do any of your vineyards have names? If so, is there a story behind those names?
Yes, our vineyards are differentiated and all carry distinctive names. To name a few of the most important ones in Radda in Chianti we have Scassino and Croce, while in Maremma we have Pineta, Quercia and Oliveta. If you are interested in more details, we can send you a proper mapping with the “toponyms” indicated.
If you have large vineyards, do you only use a portion of the vineyard to produce specific wines? How did you choose what portions to use?
We do a selection of our vineyards according to the characteristics of the wine we intend to market.
Terrabianca Winery & Winemaking Questions
What makes your winery different from others in the region? In Italy?
Arillo in Terrabianca is an ongoing project with many variables: different Tuscan territories, market memories, past and present entrepreneurial stories and new developments and innovations. Arillo in Terrabianca is about rediscovering origins, a passion for the land and its multifaceted aspects. Seeing wine as a life experience, full of places and people. The research and interpretation of its own excellence.
What is the winery’s long-term plans regarding production levels, vineyard replanting, style of winemaking, consumer targets, etc.
We have short- and long-terms ambitious goals, starting with the renovation of the winery in Radda in Chianti where we plan to revamp the layout and bring in new equipment to make only our Chianti Classico. Another major project is the construction of a completely new modern winery in Maremma with top equipment for our IGT and DOC Maremma wines.
Last but not least, we have scheduled the replanting of vines to substitute international grape varieties with native grape varieties. We are also in full organic conversion.
What vintage had the most challenges and what were those challenges? How did you overcome them?
We are newly established as Arillo in Terrabianca, since July 2019, and our first harvest was the 2019 vintage. Thus, we do not have our own record of past vintages.
What cooperage does the winery use?
Barriques and barrels of different origin.
Is there a philosophy around cooperage?
Barriques for the Super Tuscan style and barrels for Chianti Classico, according to tradition. We would like to note that we are introducing a new style of winemaking and there will be new innovations in the near future.
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