Montalceto is a new plot that Tenuta Licinia acquired in 2022. The first harvest will be 2023. The Montalceto project arose from James’ desire to produce a small Sangiovese cru from an interesting subsoil. The goal was to find the very best subsoils for the plot but it was extremely difficult to find.
The search began in the immediate vicinity of the Sasso di Fata vineyard, to see if some of the same subsoils recurred in the nearby area. But nearly as soon as you step out that vineyard you find yourself over more classical Tuscan subsoils - rocks made out of sand (arenare) that produce less expressive and less identitarian wines.
James began to look further away - first within a 5km radius, then in a 10km radius, then in a 15km radius, and eventually nearly 20km away. Over two years he visited over 200 vineyards (more 500hectares of vines). None of the subsoils of those initial plots he thought had the potential to produce something really unique. Eventually, he found, 18km away, a tiny 1ha plot in the middle of the woods with an limestone subsoil, similar in structure to Cotes de Nuits plots in Burgundy.
The vineyard was in poor shape, but the vines were solid and were over 20 years old. The viticultural practices had not been overly chemical reliant, and after speaking to the Owner, James managed to acquire the tiny plot and began work on bringing the vineyard back into producing a high quality wine and converting it to organic viticulture. The first vintage is 2023, and only around 3000 bottles are expected.