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History
The first Nobile di Montepulciano "Vigna Asinone Riserva" was released in 1983. The grapes of Asinone vineyard had first been bottled as a Vino Nobile in 1982. The vintages of '83-'85-'88-'90 were bottled under this name. They were comprised of Prugnolo Gentile with small additions of Canaiolo Nero, Colorino and Mammolo and were matured in big wood; "non-regulation", at least according to the regulations of the time, which still allowed for the use of white grapes.
The vintages 1993 and 1995 bear the name Nobile di Montepulciano "Vigna Asinone" (Asinone Vineyard), but above all they signal the definitive change to a wine that is matured in barriques and tonneaux. In 1996 the wine took its current name of Nobile di Montepulciano "Asinone". In general the production has fluctuated between a minimum of 20,000 and a maximum of 40,000 bottles, with the exception of the '83 and '85 vintages, which were of a modest quantity.

Location
The Asinone vineyard is located in the "Pietrose" area, on the west side of the road from Montepulciano to Torrita di Siena.
It's about 8 km from our centre of operations. The name "Asinone" comes from the shape of the vineyard, which is like the back of a mule.

The Vineyard
The Asinone vineyard is at an altitude of 380 to 400 m above sea level, and has a western exposure. It is characterized by a steeply sloping terrain and the soil is of Pliocene origin French clay, mixed with tufaceous zones, and a skeleton of crushed red stone. The soil is generally thin with poor hydration. The first plantings date from 1961 and were about 7 hectares with a format of 2.5m x 1.2m for a total of 3,300 stalks per hectare.
These vines exhibited the traditional "Chiantigiana" formation, characterized by the presence of red fruit vines alternating with Trebbiano and Malvasia in the same row. But from 1963, the latter were completely regrafted with Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo and Colorino. This operation, unusual in its time, transformed Asinone into the first specialized vineyard in the region.
In 1991, 3 hectares were planted in the format of 2.40m x .80m for a density of 5,200 stalks per hectare. These vines were Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Prugnolo Gentile, and were characterized by very weak graft stocks. The vineyard underwent its final modification in 1997 with the planting of a further 2 hectares. These were exclusively Prugnolo Gentile, again with a density of 5,200 stalks per hectare and extremely weak graft stocks. The vines are cultivated with the spurred cord method.

The Grapes
Asinone has come to be characterized as a unicum due to its distinctive population of Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese). These were obtained in 1961 from grafts taken from Valloccaia (an old Montepulciano farm of Gamberucci Family).
The existing Prugnolo Gentile vines in the Asinone vineyard are the offspring of that original selection and possess distinctive characteristics such as small, compact bunches, and firm, violet coloured grape skins.
To that original, native stock was added others, which, from 1983, were further selected to obtain what today represents our company's Prugnolo Gentile selection.

The Harvest
A thinning takes place from the time of the first green pruning until maturation of the fruit, with the aim of obtaining about 1kg per stalk. Excess and poorly positioned bunches are eliminated from the interior of the plants in order to provide optimum growing conditions and a uniform response to external conditions for the remaining grapes. Harvesting of Asinone grapes is done strictly by hand. According to the quality of the crop, it may be done in two or three stages to harvest only the bunches that are truly ripe and have fruit of particular characteristics. The harvest is generally done between the second half of September and the end of October, however, the specific time depends on a careful and thorough analysis of the grapes themselves (levels of sugar, total acidity, PH and Polyphenols). The decision does not depend on laboratory results alone but also on a precise and timely tasting of the grapes themselves, as they must be picked at the moment in which they've reached the maximum concentration of specific components. This requires an evaluation based on the experience and sensitivity of the technical staff; an evaluation that constitutes a fascinating introduction to the personality of the wines themselves. This blending of the scientific rigour of quality control and the sensory capacity of man, truly enhances the "terroir", or synthesis of the geological nature of the land, the climate, the vine and human intervention.

In the Cellar
When they arrive at the cellar, the grapes from Asinone vineyard undergo a further selection before passing through the stalk remover. Stalks are removed by gravity rather than through the use of pumps. The grapes are then vinified separately in open stainless steel vats with a capacity of 80 hl and computer-controlled temperature.
The extraction technique used in making Vino Nobile Asinone is milling, combined with targeted delestage and some remontage according to the characteristics of the vintage. Fermentation temperature is maintained at a maximum of about 30C.
The duration and management of maceration is medium-long, from about 18 to 25 days. After this, Vino Nobile Asinone is split between barriques and tonneaux of French oak, where malolactic fermentation takes place.
Vino Nobile Asinone is left in wood for about 18 months, after which it is refined in the bottle for a minimum of 12 months before being released on the market.

ASINONE

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The first Nobile di Montepulciano "Vigna Asinone Riserva" was released in 1983. The grapes of Asinone vineyard had first been bottled as a Vino Nobile in 1982.

WINES

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Our wines evoke the historic tradition of the land, but at the same time speak eloquently to the modern world. Theirs is a developing narrative: born in the early 1980's

EXPERIENCE

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A Renaissance pearl, a papal city, a center of Etruscan origin. Montepulciano, Pienza, Cortona. This is the historic terrain and culture of our wine.