Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tuesday, March 28 2017

People - The Caporali Family

By: Anthony Gismondi
Making Montepulciano

Giulio Caporali founded Tenuta Valdipiatta in the late 1980s to pursue a dream.

Along the way he managed to elevate the Valdipiatta estate to become one of the most respected producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in Tuscany. In 2002, he turned over the day-to-day management of the estate and winery to his daughter Miriam, although he is never far away. A passionate scholar, Giulio has translated from Latin, the town charter of Montepulciano, a manuscript from 1337 AD. More recently, he published an essay on the Etruscan origins of the name of Montepulciano.

The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano production zone lies within the hillsides of the Commune of Montepulciano, at an elevation of 605 meters. The soil is a consistent mix of clays, sands, and fairly loose sandy clays, with lens-shaped pockets of pebbles and fossils dating back several millennia. The Valdipiatta wines are all from the estate that covers some 30 hectares of hillsides within the municipality of Montepulciano.

In all, 80 percent is dedicated to the cultivation of sangiovese, the traditional Tuscan variety, which in Montepulciano, takes the local name of “Prugnolo Gentile”. Canaiolo nero and mammolo complete the range of typical grapes, whereas merlot, cabernet sauvignon and pinot nero provide the basis for IGT designated wines, which are produced side by side with the traditional production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Rosso di Montepulciano and Chianti.

The vineyards were renewed at the beginning of the 90s, with the exception of two cru named Sanguineto and Vigna d’Alfiero planted at the beginning of the 1970s. The cru vineyards have been lovingly maintained with only on-going maintenance to trellising equipment and the replacement of failing vines.

The original cellar built underground is home to several large old traditional barrels of Slavonian oak supported by newly introduced wood, approximately 300 casks from the most prestigious French coopers. Vinification takes place in stainless steel containers and follows rigid protocols established for each vineyard. Caporali has also engaged noted professor, Yves Glories, Head of the Oenology Faculty of the V. Segalen University of Bordeaux and together, with well-known Bordeaux oenologist, Eric Boissenot, they have charted the latest direction of Valdipiatta.


Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. He is currently in his 29th year as the wine columnist at the Vancouver Sun and a Partner and Principal Critic at www.winealign.comAnthony is also the co-host of the longest running, weekly, wine and food show in Canadian radio: The Best of Food and Wine. You can listen to the show across the Best of Food and Wine Radio Network multiple times per week. For air times in your city, or to listen live on the internet, check here.