Fattoria di Montemaggio isn’t the easiest place to get to, unless you’ve got a four-by-four. Turn off the main road by the famous Butcher’s in Panzano and follow the medieval road towards Radda-in-Chianti. The road climbs, weaves and turns to a track and, after about twenty minutes, if you haven’t taken a wrong turn, you arrive at Montemaggio. The estate’s isolated location has proved a godsend; whilst vineyards near the valley floor are becoming too warm for the Sangiovese grapes, Montemaggio, at around 600 metres, still produces wonderfully typical Chianti; all cherry fruit, palate-cleansing acidity and balsamic notes.
Despite the remote location, owner Valeria and winemaker Ilaria have turned Montemaggio into a hive of activity, with cookery courses, art classes and fashion photoshoots running alongside the more usual activities for a winery, but it is in the vineyard and winery that the greatest changes have been made; the vineyards have been converted to organic production and ancient Tuscan varieties have been planted, and the length of time the wine spends maturing in bottle has been increased. The current release, from the excellent 2013 vintage, is approaching maturity, at a time when most producers are moving on to 2017. A blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot, this is proper Chianti; a wine meant to accompany food.