The origins of Il Colle date no further than 1972, the true story of its inception remains a bit of a mystery. One version of the origin story states that Alberto had purchased the vineyards with his wife, Ernesta, in 1972, yet it’s also been said that Alberto planted vines with Giulio Gambelli in 1972, only to surprise Ernesta as he lay dying with a cellar full of unsold vintages that the two men had made together.
One of the “small jewels in Montalcino’s original growing area”, Il Colle was once a part of Conti Costanti’s Colle al Matrichese, a property that sits at a high altitude of 400-450 meters. Yielding delicate wines, the fruit of these vineyards came to be blended with grapes from a more southern vineyard–in Castelnuovo dell’Abate at 220 meters–that the family had purchased in 1998.
Working with Gambelli, Alberto adhered strictly to Gambelli’s traditional techniques, as did Caterina who took over the rustic winery when Alberto passed away in 2001. Employing natural yeasts, no temperature control, long maceration on skins, and no filtering, Alberto aged his Brunellos in Slavonian botti. ”The winery has changed very little in the past 35 to 40 years,” says Greg Reeves, our Italian Portfolio Director. ”Allowing the vineyard to express itself in a clean environment, Gambelli was all about tradition. No external factors could affect the wine, other than the vineyard and the vintage.”