When Piero Palmucci decided to found his own Brunello estate, he reached for the stars: before choosing a property he spent several years researching the soil types and microclimates best suited to Sangiovese Grosso, and asking experts and locals which parcels were the best. His search led him unequivocally to Poggio di Sotto, just outside the town of Castelnuovo dell’Abate in the southern part of Montalcino, where he established his estate in 1989. 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 ColleMassari 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. 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 stellar reputation of Poggio di Sotto is built on powerful wines that nevertheless leave the limelight to finesse and balance.