The Cantine Leonardo da Vinci were established in Vinci in 1961, when thirty small winemaking firms decide to join forces both to make wine and also to share the costs needed to build a single cellar in which to process grapes into local red and white wine. In the heart of Tuscany and Chianti, barely 70 hectares were devoted to grape growing. Today, the surface area covers almost 750 hectares and its land also extends into the Siena province.
The cooperative, which is expanding, purchased Cantina di Montalcino to make the famous designation of origin Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino. (Today, it is still the only cooperative that produces Brunello.) The cellar is located in the Val di Cava and was recently restructured thanks to vast and modern architectural plans: the roof follows the gentle movement of the hills of Siena.
The winery is situated near Montalcino, about 35km from Siena, right in front of the knoll of the little town, nestled among meadows, olive trees and the beautiful Val di Cava vineyards, along the extraordinary route of the vintage cycling race, L’Eroica. For more than 40 years, Cantina di Montalcino has been the only winemaking cooperative in the area, with approximately 100 small-scale agricultural firms as members, 160 hectares of vineyards, mostly Sangiovese, the local grape variety par excellence.
The company currently underwent some restructuring with an important architectural project that is modern yet at one with the Ilcinesi hills: the underlying idea is to make wine while respecting the environment. The distinctive roof follows the natural movement of the hills. Steel and wood, nature and technology, modernity and tradition merge with the Brunello wine, a happy marriage that is worth seeing and tasting. A wooden bridge crosses the entirety of the winemaking floor, while, underground, the wine rests and refines in oak casks and barriques far away from noise and lights. More than 50% of the winery is underground, according to tradition, to enable easier temperature control and energy saving. Wastewater is treated using aerobic purifiers and natural microbacteria. Spring water is heated and most of the electricity is produced independently by harnessing solar power. History, land, nature, technology, tradition and wine: synthesis at Cantina di Montalcino.