Wines / Olive oils
Reciso Sangiovese Toscana Igt, Maurleo, Vigna alle Nicchie Tempranillo, Ixe Tempranillo Toscana Igt, Fresco di Nero tempranillo Toscana IGT, Chianti Riserva Docg Pietro Beconcini, Vin Santo del Chianti DOC, Occhio di pernice Vinsanto del Chianti DOC
Grapes and vineyards
Holder: Leonardo Beconcini titolare; Eva Bellagamba leg.rappr.
average production: 95.000 bottiglie
Ground extension : 13 ha vitati
Time of grape harvest : Settembre - Ottobre
Timetables and visits
Closing day: Mai
visits: Solo su prenotazione
Leonardo Beconcini: "The history of my winery begins well before I was born, in the early 1950s to be exact. That was when my grandfather was successful in purchasing the lands that he, along with his family, had already been working for some time, but as a sharecropper on the estate of the Marchesi Ridolfi family.
My family was in fact one of the first in Tuscany to free themselves from the then-prevalent sharecropping system, and that made possible the founding of the present PIETRO BECONCINI AGRICOLA. Under my grandfather, it was an agricultural operation that produced a variety of products; under my father's direction, on the other hand, it became strictly a viticultural and winemaking estate.
My own avocation began to take shape very slowly in the early 1990s, with local zonation research, and with the first vintage of a monovarietal Sangiovese in 1995. Successively, I took over the reins of the business from my father. Since 1997 I have I have had as my colleague my companion Eva Bellagamba, who made the heroic decision to share this project of mine and sacrifice her own future as an architect.
I think that I can say that the patience and caution that I showed in undertaking the studies of the local environment were the real key to all of the work that I have done since. The most important results, in chronological order, are:
- an in-depth understanding of the vineyards here, which had previously been farmed rather primitively;
- the selection of two local sangiovese clones, which I am still using today for wine production;
- the decision to increase plantings of the malvasia nera grape (which has always been sangiovese's faithful "travelling companion");
- and finally the discovery of the unexpected presence at San Miniato of the fabulous grape variety that we now know is tempranillo.
The wines that I make now as well are produced without any excessive haste, and with the same sure-footed prudence I have always used. I have always striven to achieve the best balance possible both in the vineyard and in the cellar before I introduce a new wine. In fact, between the first and the fourth--and last-- of my wines, I waited a full 12 years (1995-2007).
I currently produce, in order:
Since 1995 RECISO, 100% sangiovese
Since 1998 MAURLEO, 50% sangiovese, 50% malvasia nera
Since 2004 VIGNA ALLE NICCHIE, 100% tempranillo
Since 2007 IXE, 100% tempranillo
With respect to the winemaking process in the cellar, which I consider scarcely 10% of my effective work, I consider myself an out-and-out tradionalist who uses barriques. I start from the premise that the oak maturation vessel, whatever it may be, must only mature my wines. What confers on them great character and personality, on the other hand, is fermentation in lined cement vats and courageous macerations.
As one can easily imagine, my longest and most involved efforts have gone into developing the potential here of tempranillo.
The beginning of these efforts goes back to 1993, when we discovered a group of 213 vines, growing on their own roots, already quite ancient; for many years we called them "grape X," and took massal selections from the group and planned new plantings. At the same time, we carried out historical research, and in the 1990s we solicited replies, which were not long in coming. We found out about the origins of the grape and the journey it had made in reaching this area. We know today that the ancestors of our vines were carried here by travellers who were following the Via Francigena, which passes right through my winery property, on their way to Rome on religious pilgrimages. Only in 2004 did we learn the actual name of the variety, tempranillo, thanks to advanced DNA identification techniques.
In the intervening years, I tried my best to widen my own experience in growing and making wine from this grape that is so unusual for Tuscany. I finally made the decision to produce an ambitious Tempranillo, using even extreme procedures, such as semi-drying the grapes before fermentation.
TODAY, PIETRO BECONCINI AGRICOLA IS THE FIRST WINERY IN TUSCANY TO PRODUCE WINES FROM THIS NOBLE VARIETY, WHICH HAS SUCH DEEP HISTORICAL ROOTS IN SAN MINIATO."
BUSINESS AND PRODUCTION GROWTH
PIETRO BECONCINI AGRICOLA SS.
1900�1990: The three Beconcini generations lay the foundations for today's PIETRO BECONCINI AGRICOLA
1990�1995: Study period for the passing of the winery management from Pietro to Leonardo Beconcini.
1993: First encounter with the tempranillo vines and microfermentations of it as the mysterious "grape X."
1995: First year of production of the 100% sangiovese RECISO, the first result of a long-lived Sangiovese and today the winery's historic wine.
1996: First investments in new vineyard plantings, exclusively from local budwood, beginning with the sangiovese vines.
1997: After three years of clonal selection, we begin to plant tempranillo derived from the budwood of the ca.90-year-old historical vineyard, "grape X," whose real identity still remained unknown.
1998: The Sangiovese project is completed, with the release of the last two wines:
1) Chianti Beconcini, which my family had produced for over half a century, now returns, but with a rigorous personality.
2) Maurleo debuts, a blend of malvasia nera and sangiovese, a true Supertuscan from indigenous varieties.
1999-2000-2001-2002.2003: Years of rapid growth. The vineyards increase from 3 to 12 hectares, of which 5 are planted to tempranillo. We still know it only as "grape X," but studies and research are beginning to yield initial results.
2004: In February, DNA examination was carried out on our "grape X," and what we had only suspected up to then became reality, finally.
Our venerable vines belong to the tempranillo variety, and historical research tells us that the vines arrived here, some centuries back, as part of the seasonal journeys linked to religious pilgrimages.
Our research efforts in this matter were finally successful,
and we are the guardians of tempranillo vines present for centuries in San Miniato.
2005-2006-2007: Planning and development of two 100% tempranillo wines,
unique in all of Tuscany
1) IXE Tempranillo, which derives its name from the Tuscan dialect word for X, represents the genuine and authentic expression of this grape, which has become native to San Miniato; its centuries-long adaptation to local conditions allows us to handle it with complete confidence and ease.
2) VIGNA ALLE NICCHIE, 100% tempranillo, a tribute to this ancient vineyard, produced exclusively from the historic vineyard it is named after,
with the intention of creating a wine that is at once both unique and audacious.
The clusters are hand-picked into small boxes and then semi-died for several weeks; the must is then fermented and the wine given an extremely lengthy maceration,
then matured in cement and wood and bottled for 4 years.
2008-2009-2010: Studies are still in process for some experimental projects, focusing on lesser-known grapes that have always grown in this area. The projects that are furthest along concern canaiolo rosa and malvasia bianca,