ABOUT THE WINERY
Sitting next to the infinity pool at Casanova di Neri’s new on-property relais and gazing up at the silhouette of the hill town of Montalcino less than 3 miles away, it’s pretty easy to start dreaming about becoming a Brunello producer yourself. Giovanni Neri had that dream 50 years ago, although he didn’t have the infinity pool at the time. Neri wanted to establish a new winery here in one of the most hallowed venues in the Italian wine world, the commune of Montalcino, home of what many consider the best Sangiovese-based wines anywhere—indeed, among the very best Italian wines of any description.
Even back then, vineyard land in the production zone for Brunello di Montalcino was very expensive and hard to find. But in 1971, Giovanni Neri was able to purchase a plot east of the town—the Cerretalto vineyard—that was less desirable because the area was considered too cool for proper ripening. Understanding the limitations of the location, Neri took a new approach in the viticultural practices, accepting a lower yield in order to achieve top-quality grapes. In 1978 Casanova di Neri produced its first Brunello. Over time, climate change has worked in Neri’s favor, as the Cerretalto vineyard with its natural amphitheater overlooking the Asso River now has no problem reaching optimum ripeness.
Vineyard acquisition has been a continuing goal for the Neris, and the estate has grown to include seven different vineyards in various parts of the denomination, totaling 156 acres of vines along with forested tracts, arable fields, and 50 acres of olive trees. The vineyards have been planted or replanted mostly with cuttings propagated from old Sangiovese vines in the Cerretalto vineyard that produced distinctive, high-quality fruit.