WINERY LOCATION: Castagneto Carducci, province of Livorno, Tuscany
VINEYARD LOCATION: Bolgheri and Maremma, Tuscany
VINEYARD LAND: 112 acres (45 ha)
GRAPE VARIETIES: Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Vermentino; small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and Viognier
WINE STYLES: Dry red, dry white
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 350,000 bottles (260.000 liters)
OWNER(S): The Pellegrini family
WINEMAKER(S): Nicola Scottini

The Pellegrini family, Aia Vecchia’s owners, have been grape growers in the Bolgheri area for several generations and have sold their grapes to many of the most notable wineries in the region for decades. After replanting their original vineyards in 1995, the following year they took the plunge and established their own winery with the goal of creating a portfolio of small-lot, high-quality Super Tuscan blends focusing on Bordeaux grape varieties. The Pellegrinis also located and purchased exceptional pieces of land in the Bolgheri DOC of coastal Tuscany, which had been shown to be ideal for Bordeaux varieties.

On one of the family’s properties there was an old building called Aia Vecchia, which would become the symbol and namesake of the company. The family enlisted the help of well-known agronomist Daniel Schuster in the selection of their plant material, which was imported directly from Bordeaux. They also sought out the services of another highly talented consultant—Hungarian winemaker Tibor Gal, who had been chief winemaker at the pioneering Super Tuscan Ornellaia in Bolgheri. With this lineup, Aia Vecchia developed Lagone, their Merlot-based first wine, in 1998. 

The Bolgheri property proved to be ideal for high-quality Bordeaux-style wine. The area enjoys warmth and light from the sun, both directly and reflected from the sea. At the same time, it has sea breezes to temper the afternoon heat. This combination typically allows an early harvest. From the hand-picking of the grapes on, the winery’s attention to detail is focused on ensuring that the best quality goes into each bottle. Given the success of this vineyard’s Lagone, Aia Vecchia under the supervision of Gal launched a Cabernet-based Super Tuscan in 2001, their top label Sor Ugo. 

Aia Vecchia added white wine in 2008 to expand the portfolio with additional styles. The Vermentino is made from estates at Orbetello and Magliano in Toscana, both of which are in Grosseto province some 60 miles southeast of Bolgheri. The soils of these vineyards are a combination of clay, sand, and limestone at an average elevation of 600 feet and are ideal for producing rich, structured, and elegant wines.