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As widespread as Pineau is, both soil and climate play key roles in the diversity of its incarnations, and a Chenin from California gives one no hint of what the grape is capable of in the right soil.
Farther inland along the Loire, in the region of the Touraine, Vouvray enjoys a warm, continental climate during the summers.
In the early 2000s, he and his brother Jean-Baptiste joined their father at the domaine full-time.
As of the 2014 vintage, the Arenas have divided their holdings evenly between Antoine, Antoine-Marie, and Jean-Baptiste.
Slowly dropping temperatures in autumn make for a long ripening season.
Microclimates with high humidity can also bring about the beloved noble rot. The Champalou family farms twenty-one hectares of vineyards on clay, limestone, and siliceous soils.
A marl soil of decomposed seashell deposits and breezes from the Monte Amiata across the valley contribute to a cool microclimate that produces a noticeably Burgundian-style Brunello.
All of the grapes grown here are of the same very high quality and qualify for the Brunello appellation, so the Rosso di Montalcino is differentiated only by its vinification in stainless steel and shorter aging; in great vintages they also produce a Brunello Riserva.
The path to becoming a vigneron was a natural one for Antoine-Marie Arena, son of famed Corsican producer Antoine Arena.At the same time he began a collaboration with the University of Milan to select the finest Sangiovese clones and optimize the vineyards, from planting density to pruning and sorting during the harvest.Dedicating the entire estate to this single variety, he treated his vines to meticulous organic care and over the years built a reputation as one of Brunello’s leading producers.Palmucci sold Poggio di Sotto to Claudio Tipa, owner of Colle Massari and Grattamacco, in 2011, and Tipa and his team have committed themselves to the same quality standards and production techniques that have made the estate’s reputation.The vines of Poggio di Sotto sit on high hills overlooking the Orcia River Valley, with parcels at three different altitudes combining to make a particularly well-balanced wine.