FORNACELLE Estate is located on the Tuscan Coast, along the Strada del Vino Costa degli Etruschi, the Wine Road of Etruscan Coast.
It belongs to Bolgheri DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), one of the most prestigious Italian wine regions.
The farm was founded at the end of the XIX Century and it has always been
a family estate. In 1998 Stefano Billi inherited the property from his
grandfather and planted the new vineyards. A few years ago Stefano’s wife, Silvia, joined in the management of the estate.
Today Fornacelle estate covers a total surface area of 15 hectares. The vineyard extends for 8 hectares. The rest of the farm consists of an olive-grove of 1000 plants, a 1 hectare peach-orchard, and various vegetable gardens.
From the beginning Stefano’s philosophy focused on high quality.
He selected vines and clones according to the different soils of the
estate parcels. He introduced the modern vineyard practice based on
lower yields. But, on the other hand, following the example of his ancestors, at the same time, Stefano pays great attention to hard work and details.
He says: “Our challenge is to find the best combination of
climate, soil, grape variety and winemaking methods in order to
produce top-class-wines which mirrors our terroir and
express our work.
Our meticulous work in the vineyard, allows us
to obtain a unique and high quality harvest, every
vintage, making every year, and for each parcel, the perfect decision when to cut, to select, and to pick grapes.”
The Bolgheri DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) was created in 1984 for white and rosé wines and in 1994 for the red ones, in the wake of the worldwide fame reached by several wines from the region.
For white wines the regulation provides mostly local white grapes such as Vermentino, while for red wines production the rule is an exception compared
with the other Tuscan wine regions. Indeed even if in Bolgheri you can find some rare examples of high quality wines based on Sangiovese grape, the excellent wines from Bolgheri are mainly produced from international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and others. This special attitude for international grapes has also been confirmed by an important research on the Bolgheri terroir, carried on by the University of Milan.
The vineyard is situated 50 m. above sea level, the varieties grown are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc for red wines, Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano and Sémillon for white wines. The training systems are Guyot and low cordon spurs with a density of 6.000/8.000 plants per hectare and a yields are around 65%-70%. The estate has different types of soils, middle-hard with gravely structure, clayey and stony, which add more complexity to wines.
“In 2004 we planted a vineyard of two special white varieties: Sémillon
and Fiano, because, as a result of our research, both grapes could give excellent expression in our wine estate. The first harvest of those white grapes was in 2006.”
The cellar is placed in the oldest part of the farmhouse.
“For winemaking we use both, modern techniques and traditional methods.
We use stainless steel vats for young wines, in order to emphasize fresh
and fruity tones. We use the open top French oak barriques to create our superior-wines. For ageing we only use French oak barrels of 225
litres from the forests of Allier, Nevers and Tronçais. Fabrizio Moltard is our consulting enologist. In 2004, we though that, to learn more about the character of our terroir, we had to bottle a micro-cru of every single grape variety. We chose Cabernet Franc because of its complexity, elegance and texture.”
“Our production range of 43-45.000 bottles per year consists of two
different selections: BOLGHERI CLASSIC and ART COLLECTION.
By means of our Bolgheri Classic Collection, we wish to highlight the high quality and character of the DOC wines from the Bolgheri region. By means of Artistic Collection, we wish to join our artisan labour and the creative skill of the artist in order to obtain personal, unique and hedonistic products.