May 19, 2011

A visit to Tenuta Dell'Ornellaia.

During my visit to Bolgheri, I was very fortunate to stay in the guest house of Tenuta Dell' Ornellaia. The Estate is around 192 hectares and approximately 97 are dedicated to vines which are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The winery is famous for Ornellaia, which is a Bordeaux-style red wine that has been in production since 1985. The estate also produces a second wine, Le Serre Nuove and a another wine called Le Volte. Its top wine Masseto, is made form 100% Merlot grapes.

The tree that is on the home page of the website.

The wind coming from the Tyrrhenian sea helps cool the vines and prevents moisture and humidity which prevents rot.

A combination of alluvial and volcanic soils, which is rich in marine sediments adds complexity and minerality to the wines. It was interesting to see the soil change color from an iron rich red to a light grey dirt in just a few rows. It was a truly unique experience to see such a variation in soils within such a short distance.

The estate which is pictured on the label.

By the rose garden.

At only 7 ha (about 17 acres) the Masseto vineyard is a very special cru. It is the only known site that has large rocks in all of Bolgheri. Merlot is planted here with much success since its first vintage in 1986. It is one of the most expensive and rare Italian wines available on the market. It is barrel aged in French oak for 24 months, and another 12 months in bottle.

Masseto soil.

Bottling and packing the current release of Masseto.

We ended our night by the beach for a romantic dinner, a bottle of Ornellaia, and watching the sunset into the Mediterranean Sea.


  1. Must you only visit the top wineries in Italy? How about writing for the little people who can only eat cake?
    Seriously... Love living Italy over again through you.

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