Monarch is wrapping up our Producer Profile series for our Legendary Winemakers tasting next Wednesday, October 23, with Silvio Messana of Montesecondo who has been redefining Chianti for nearly 20 years. Silvio is making uniquely pure Tuscan wines with character and freshness, breathing new life into a misunderstood region that, according to some, has lost its way. While his land is within the Chianti Classico designation, the wine authorities never allowed him to label his wines as such, noting their lack of color, alcohol and oak. Never swaying and staying true to his vision, Silvio shunned the DOCG commission and refused their directives to include new oak or foreign varietals in his wines.
“The first question a wine grower must ask himself is, ‘What kind of wine will this earth give me?'’' - Silvio Messana
Long live Chianti!
Silvio's goal has always been to express his terroir. Soon after taking the reins of his family's estate in 1999, he began transitioning to biodynamic practices. He realized that the use of harsh chemicals was not only causing him personal health issues, but also hindering the land from truly revealing itself in his wines. Most Chianti is just 85% Sangiovese, as the law allows winemakers to blend in 'heartier' wines such as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet, all of which are French in origin. Silvio's wines remain 100% Sangiovese, the indigenous Tuscan variety, and are aged in either very old barrel or clay amphorae as to not mask the fickle grape's delicate characteristics.
"Wine should taste like the land it comes from. Wine should identify itself by its terroir. ” - Silvio Silvio's philosophy is pure and simple: take care of the land and make wine with characteristics that exude their terroir. Not big on the term "natural wine", he declares that he is just simply making wine. In lieu of using the word "natural," he refers to wines as "territorial." To him wine is an extension of it's land, soil, and micro-climate. He has succeeded greatly as each of his wine's are genuine examples of this philosophy: fresh, expressive, unique and entirely Chianti. Join us Wednesday evening, October 23, to meet Silvio in-shop!