Collelceto Estate and Winery Logo Collelceto Estate and Winery

Collelceto - Estate

The character of a wine lies largely in the balance of two main factors:

features that are typical of a given growing area; and those that distinguish a particular winery or estate. In many respects, the wines made by Elia Palazzesi at Collelceto embody characteristics that are common to Montalcino wines in general. First and foremost, the stature of the Sangiovese Grosso grape variety. But also the complexity of structure and aroma that derive from soils that vary to a remarkable degree, even within the same vineyard. The relatively dry climate also plays a role, with temperatures that range from cold winters to distinctly hot summers.

Yet there is a story behind the Collelceto estate that makes it quite unlike any other winery in the area. For a start, it's in an unusual location. When in the early 1900s the Palazzesi family purchased land southwest of Montalcino, the town itself was hardly on the wine map. In those days, anyone who managed to rise above the surrounding rural poverty did so by farming cereal crops and raising livestock. Of course people also made wine, but only for immediate family consumption.

For the agriculture he had in mind, Elia's great-grandfather had selected a property with soils rich in clay, mixed with some sandy components for good drainage, and a certain amount of a stony substratum. The terrain was 150-180 metres above sea level, gently sloping down towards the Ombrone riverbed, which acted as a conduit for warm winds blowing in from the coast. The wooded hillsides at the back of the farm provided protection from extreme weather conditions.

Nearly a century later, Elia realized that the natural phenomena his great-grandfather had identified as beneficial would also favour viticulture, especially organic grape growing. Back in 1985, his father had planted 2 hectares of vines, and between 1997 and 2000 Elia added five more.

Elia Palazzesi riding in the vineyard