Documents mentioning the Gagliole Estate date back hundreds of years and there are countless ancient legends regarding this property, which continues to conserve memories of a distant time.
A manuscript in the State Archives in Siena reveals that the son of the Langobard King Berengarius, who had fallen in love with the Tuscan countryside, bequeathed the Gagliole Estate to his wife in 994 A.D.
The passing of centuries did no harm to the beauty of this estate which preserves the special character of this unique landscape.
Gagliole is a small gem that captures all of Tuscany’s beauty. The cypress-lined road and the villa evoke the peace and quiet of another era and a sense of history that stirs the soul. The magnificent, slender, dark cypress trees reach up to the sky, gently waving in the wind and producing a magical effect of light and shadow.
The magic of the Tuscan countryside captivated Monika and Thomas Bär – Bettschart already in 1990. Their love for Tuscany and its good wines became their passion.
The Gagliole emblem is the old house mark of the Bettschart family, depicting a pair of compasses with the horizontal beam in balance. In the medieval times the builders of a house marked their work in this manner, which then over time developed into a coat of arms.
Today the next generation of the family, Barbara Bertschinger – Bär an accomplished dressage rider and horsebreeder (www.gestuet-sonnenberg.ch) and Andreas, a well known attorney at law and partner at Bär & Karrer AG (www.baerkarrer.ch) as well as their grandchildren play an ever more active role in the activities in and around Gagliole, thus safeguarding the future of this familyowned vineyard.
The tasting and drinking of the estate produced wines gives great pleasure and fun to all three generations of the family.
Ancient terraced vineyards tell the story of a carefully preserved landscape. The delicate balance between soil and climate is the ideal model for those who have chosen to cultivate this land respectful of nature and its rhythms. Gagliole is an impassioned universe of persons who are determined to bring out the best that the plants and land can offer.
The yellow-brownish color of the soil captures all of the mystery this land has given humankind in the nectar that it produces. Up close, the colors decompose into argillaceous loam: it is the argillite that embraces and nurtures the vines, filtering their humors and becoming part of the plants themselves. This mineral-poor soil contains just the right amount of humus to give the wine soft, pleasant tones.
Judiciously cultivated and groomed, small tracts of land created elegant geometric figures on either side of the impenetrable hills. Here, at 500 meters above sea level, vineyards of Sangiovese mature under the rays of the sun thanks to splendid exposure to the south-southwest. The age of the vines (from 3 to 30 years) is testament to the painstaking process of reintegration that has taken place here.
At the end of the summer, the juicy grapes have reached the perfect ripeness thanks to careful pruning and meticulous management of the greenery. It is time for the harvest, an ancient and momentous ritual, at once joyous and eternally new. In Gagliole, the tendrils are still pushed aside by the hands of men who then carefully pick the grapes and gently place them in crates.
The sorting table
We use a sorting table to increase the quality of our wines. This ensures that only the best grapes find their way into our oak fermentation vats. At the same time we substantially extend the harvest period, because the afternoon of each harvest day is spent selecting the grapes at the sorting table.
The wavy lines of Chianti’s soft hills make for an enchanting backdrop in the distant horizon: intense emotions, singular balance, and colors yearning for a world where architecture seamlessly mixes in with the landscape; traditions, passions, nature, art, beauty, past and present rolled up in a wondrous countryside that has remained changeless for centuries.
The cellar is marked by a balance between the modern and the ancient that allows the fruit to be transformed into a great wine. Only state-of-the-art technology is used here and the fermenting vats are temperature controlled. Every year, half of the barriques are replaced in this underground cellar.
After pips and stems are removed, the grapes are placed in conical 40-hectaliter oak vats where they ferment for 1-2 weeks. The same attention to detail and devotion is applied to the selection of the vats, which are made expressly for Gagliole. The wine is gently stirred to enhance its color and bouquet.
From the fermentation vats, the juice is transferred to cask using ancient rituals that have been translated into modern technology. The French barriques watch over the precious nectar for more than a year before it is blended in stainless-steel containers. The wine is then bottled in a sterile environment using a vacuum corking machine. The wine will then be refined in bottle for a few months before being released.
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