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cantina Tenuta Montemagno

Spring works in the Tenuta Montemagno vineyard and cellar

Article written in collaboration with Roberto Nantiat and Gianfranco Cordero, winemakers of Tenuta Montemagno

2022 will certainly be remembered by all wine producers as a year of severe drought.

Similarly, 2023 will be remembered for being, at least in the first 6 months, a particularly bizarre year from a meteorological point of view. Past year’s drought lasted for the first months of this one to then suddenly change and bring the attention of winemakers and agronomists from scarcity to abundance of water in the soil.

In this article we will find out with Roberto Nantiat, the winemaker who, with Gianfranco Cordero, follows the works at Tenuta Montemagno, what happened between the rows during the spring on the estate and what was done to deal with the sudden abundance of water and to prepare the vineyard at its best for a season, the summer, which leads to the harvest.

The first part of spring 2023 was still marked by drought. A status that has its origins in the past year and which has persisted, except for some sporadic rainy and snowy events, throughout the winter and the first part of this year. Since May there has been a climatic inversion: from zero rain to 2-3 days of rain per week.

This reversal brings with it two potential consequences: one positive and one negative.

The first, as it is easy to imagine, solves the water problem; the abundant rains bring a lot of nourishment to the vines and these show a strong vegetation. The second, also easily guessable, is the possible presence of fungi (mainly downy mildew and powdery mildew), which caused by the very short time between one rainy event and the next, could become particularly strong and aggressive. Utmost attention therefore, with protective interventions to be carried out in the vineyard, such as the more orderly “distribution” of the shoots, so that a greater passage of air is created and the potential risks of taking root and growth of fungi are reduced.

Uva

Another rather unusual aspect that could require corrective interventions is always linked to the abundance of water and the consequent vegetative thrust of the plants which is shown with an evident luxuriance of the foliage.

This sign is definitely positive, but shows a slightly uneven growth of the shoots even at individual plant level.

This is the result of the stress suffered by the vines during the drought, when the shoots all grew with great difficulty; now, with the arrival of rainfall, the differences generated by this stress can be clearly seen, with some shoots stronger than others.

This vegetative inhomogeneity leads us to monitor the evolution of the season with great meticulousness, to plan in advance interventions in the vineyard, presumably at the beginning of August. Normally we already carry out the thinning of the bunches, so as to guarantee the right balance between the quality of the harvested grapes and the quantity; this year we expect an intensification of this operation which gives strength to the vine and to the ripest bunches and nourishment to the soil, on which the pruned bunches are left.

In the cellar we continued with the bottling of most of the red wines, while for the whites this activity was completed at the end of winter: Violae (blend of Syrah and Barbera d’Asti), Soranus (the Barolo of Tenuta Motnemagno), Mysterium 2019 (Barbera d’Asti Superiore) and Nobilis (Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato).

Invictus will soon follow, always Ruchè from Castagnole Monferrato, particularly decisive and structured, obtained by carrying out a late harvest of the grapes. Resting horizontally for 24 and 36 months, on the other hand, the TM Brut (Metodo Classico from Barbera grapes), whose “draft” was carried out in mid-late March.

The climate changes we wrote about in the first part of the article have had another positive response. While during the winter it was evident that the vegetation of the vineyard was two weeks early, now it can be seen how this condition has been reset; as a result, the harvest forecast could return to the more traditional deadlines, from the end of August to the beginning of September onwards.

We will therefore talk about this again in the next editorial, when we will have updates on the status of the vineyard during the summer and on the preparation or completion work for the 2023 harvest.

Tenuta Montemagno in inverno

Work in the vineyard and cellar of Tenuta Montemagno at the end of winter

Article written in collaboration with Roberto Nantiat and Gianfranco Cordero, winemakers of Tenuta Montemagno

A few days ago we entered the spring season, the period in which the vineyard wakes up from its winter rest and prepares to be reborn to bear those wonderful fruits that we will harvest at the end of the summer season. In the last article, we learnt what work had to be done at the beginning of the cold season.

In this one, we will see with Roberto Nantiat, the oenologist who, together with Gianfranco Cordero, follows the work at Tenuta Montemagno, what has been done in the second half of the winter and how we are preparing for the spring awakening.

Let us begin by pointing out that from January to the present (we are now in the last ten days of March), winter has been characterised by mild temperatures. 

Roberto Nantiat

Only in February, and for less than a week, temperatures dropped below freezing. As far as precipitation is concerned, it must also be said that it has been decidedly scarce, indicating a continuity of drought that has persisted since last year.

In the vineyard, all pruning was completed; the shoots that had been cut at the end of the harvest were removed completely.

Since the beginning of March, we have been bending and tying the fruit heads to allow the plants to start sprouting for the new vintage.

It was precisely in this latter period that a much faster vegetative recovery than normal vine activity was noted.

In fact, the presence of the first cotton buds was observed, a sign that these are swelling, when normally in March the first ‘weeping’ of the vines should have been seen.

It must be said, however, that these weeping did take place, even if, due to the low amount of water reserve, they were not as vigorous as can normally be observed.

Vigna inverno

The climatic changes observed last year, and in particular from the end of the 2022 harvest to the present, were the subject of a meeting between oenologists and Tenuta Montemagno’s agronomist, Maurizio Cerrato. The purpose of the meeting was to define a strategy to be implemented in order to deal in the best possible conditions with the adversities brought about by the weather and not only. In fact, this year a number of new natural-based products will be used to support the plants both against water shortages and to supplement and reinforce their defences against attacks by parasites and fungi.

In the cellar, bottling of all the white wines continued (an activity that should be completed by the end of March), while, again towards the end of the month, the TM Brut will be drawn, thus initiating the second fermentation in the bottle with yeasts and sugars to produce the bubbles. At the beginning of March, the Grignolino was bottled, while for all the other red wines the ageing phase continued, depending on the type of wine, in tanks or in barrels.We can say that the winter was a season of work to prepare the vineyards in the best possible way and to activate the strategies that will allow nature to work in the best conditions with. the arrival of fine weather. The next appointment with our editorials dedicated to Tenuta Montemagno’s vineyards and winery is scheduled for July; on that occasion we will be able to tell you what was done during the Spring 2023.

Tenuta Montemagno in tour a Praga con Barolo & Friends

17 January 2023, Prague: Tenuta Montemagno’s international tour begins

The consortium for the promotion of I Vini del Piemonte confirms the stage in Eastern Europe to promote Piedmontese excellence in new and important markets. On Tuesday 17 January 2023, the second Barolo & Friends Event will be held in Prague, at the Eurostars Thalia Hotel.

Tenuta Montemagno in tour a Praga con Barolo & Friends

The initiative will be aimed exclusively at trade operators: importers, distributors, sommeliers, Ho.Re.Ca and journalists. This is an important opportunity to consolidate the market positions of our wineries, as Italian wine ranks first among imported products, with demand in the last 5 years growing in value by almost 20%, reaching 215 million euros.

Tenuta Montemagno will be present at this event, bringing for tasting:

  • TM Brut 24 months – classic Piedmontese method obtained by vinifying Barbera grapes
  • Mysterium – excellent red from Barbera d’Asti Superiore grapes
  • Solis Vis – white from 100% Timorasso grapes
  • Invictus – red from late harvest Ruchè grapes
  • Nobilis – red from Ruchè grapes
vendemmia timoroso 2022

Work in vineyard and cellar: the harvest 2022

Article written in collaboration with Roberto Nantiat and Gianfranco Cordero, winemakers of Tenuta Montemagno

The harvest, as we know, is one of the most awaited moments for wine producers. The final result of the harvest is destined to end up on the tables and tasting counters, to crown the sublime love story that unites man and nature. In Tenuta Montemagno the 2022 harvest has just ended. Begun at the end of August, with the harvest of the Sauvignon grapes, it ended more or less four weeks later.

This year the work was particularly demanding due to the severe drought that characterized the summer of 2022. During the summer months, as we described in the previous article, we worked to ensure that the vines best overcome the stress caused by dry land and water scarcity.

These operations led to the desired outcome and the rows entered the harvest period in the best state of health. However, during the harvest it was noted that the ripening of the grapes was uneven. For this reason we proceeded to make a careful selection of the rows and the individual bunches to be harvested, carrying out the operation at the right time. 

The fact of having brought to the cellar uneven bunches in the maturation, allowed to have, in the whole harvest, a more balanced product: not too alcoholic and, at the same time, not too low in acidity. This is why Tenuta Montemagno’s technicians are extremely satisfied with this vintage. Also from the quantity point of view there is satisfaction as we obtain a harvest equal to that of last year.

At the time of writing this article, the alcoholic fermentation and winemaking operations are almost complete; shortly we will proceed with malolactic fermentation, which serves to transform malic acid into lactic acid and to reduce the presence of residual sugars present after alcoholic fermentation.

This is one of the final stages before the product from the last harvest got goes to rest in the tanks and, for the reds, in the barrels, and gives life to the final wines.

We conclude by stating that the expectations on the quality of the 2022 harvest are very high. A very atypical vintage, even for the most experienced operators who have been working in the wine sector for some time, but which will lead to obtain, at least as regards Tenuta Montemagno, high quality wines balanced between acidity and alcohol content.

Tenuta Montemagno brindisi

Tenuta Montemagno on tour with Simply Italian Great Wines

The Simply Italian Great Wines tour continues in Northern Europe (Norway and United Kingdom), organized by IEM – International Exhibition Management, intended to introduce the best Italian wines to a foreign audience of professionals in the wine sector.

Tenuta Montemagno participates in this traveling event with a selection of its wines, chosen to best represent the winery and the territory which they belong to.

TM Brut 24 months – classic Piedmontese method obtained by vinifying Barbera grapes

Violae – red blend made with Barbera and Syrah grapes

Nymphae – white blend obtained from Timorasso and Sauvignon grapes

Solis Vis – white from 100% Timorasso grapes

Invictus – red from late harvest Ruchè grapes

Mysterium – excellent red from Barbera d’Asti Superiore grapes

Oslo

OSLO

On 21 September we will be together with “I Vini del Piemonte”, at the Oslo Scene in Oslo, Norway.

This event follows the success of the previous edition, during which there was a demonstration of how the Norwegian public particularly appreciates Piedmontese wines.

Piedmont is in fact in second place among the Italian regions for the export of red wines to Norway, not only in terms of volumes, but also for value, so that it has won the title of one of the first wine regions in the world for bottled red wine exports.

Tenuta Montemagno will be present for the walk around wine tasting with a tasting table and a MasterClass dedicated to Mysterium 2017.

LONDON

After Oslo, still as part of the Simply  Italian Great Wines event, we will be present on October 3, in London, England.

The venue for this event, now in its fifth edition, is the ONE GREAT GEORGE STREET, a classic location of great elegance, with a typically Anglo-Saxon style. Italian wines have long been appreciated by the English market; this event aims at renewing our attention to an audience of professionals, introducing the most recent or interesting novelties of local wine production.

Also in London we will propose the selection of labels on stage in Oslo, through the traditional walk around wine tasting formula and with the MasterClass Myterium 2017.

London-Sharpened2-e-edificio e Institution_of_Civil_Engineers,_One_Great_George_Street

This continues with these two stages the journey that brings the wines of our cellar around Europe and, soon to Asia. At the end of August we went to Tallinn and Helsinki; in September we will be in Oslo and London; in November we will be in Tokyo, in the Land of the Rising Sun. Important events to make our products known to someliers and importers who want to know, and propose the excellence of our country and our territory for their local audience.

Timorasso

Work in vineyard and cellar: summer 2022

Article written in collaboration with Roberto Nantiat, winemaker of Tenuta Montemagno

Tasting a good wine is the final act of a sublime love story. A story that connects man and nature, the passion for the cultivation of vineyards and the acceptance of this attention by nature. But how much work is there behind a glass of wine? It is a work that lasts months, sometimes years, if we consider the time required to obtain wines matured 3, 4, 5 years and even more.

Let’s continue the journey that began three months ago, to discover what summer 2022 reserved for the vineyards of Tenuta Montemagno and which works have been carried out this season, both between the rows and in the cellar.

We specify that this article was written with the harvest in progress; an early harvest, due to the particular weather conditions (as we will see later), started with the Sauvignon grapes followed by the Barbera grapes; in this case too the harvest will be deliberately anticipated, to give life to TM Brut, Tenuta Montemagno’s Classic Method.

2022 is destined to go down in history as a particularly stingy year of water. Few rains, indeed very few, which resulted in an extremely dry and difficult climate for the vineyards. This is why, in Tenuta Montemagno, we intervened with the ripping process, that is the working of the compact soil through a series of vertical cuts aimed at eliminating the risk of dry crusts on the surface and to facilitate water drainage in case of rain. The rains arrived, although not copious, in the second half of August and the ripping carried out in the vineyards helped to absorb the rainfall.

Another intervention carried out this year among the rows of some vineyards was an early thinning; this allowed to balance the vegetative-productive relationship, that is the balance between leaf mass and amount of grapes. The drought recorded this year avoided chopping operations, usually carried out to remove weeds between the rows of grapevines.

While in the vineyard we worked to facilitate the absorption of the rain that took a long waiting time, in the cellar we continued with the bottling that began in the course of spring. Nobilis, Invictus, Austerum and Mysterium passed from tanks to bottles, to leave place to the 2022 harvest.

Each season is important for the vineyards and for the harvest of their fruit. So, utmost attention is paid to nature, listening to it and observing its behaviors, its signals. Each year, then, has unique characteristics such that specific man’s work becomes, from time to time, necessary and of vital importance to reach a harvest and a final product that lives up to expectations.

Tenuta Montemagno vite

Work in vineyard and cellar: spring

Article written in collaboration with Roberto Nantiat, winemaker of Tenuta Montemagno

Tasting a good wine is the final act of a sublime love story. A story that connects man and nature, the passion for the cultivation of vineyards and the acceptance of this attention by nature. But how much work is there behind a glass of wine? It is a work that lasts months, sometimes years, if we consider the time required to obtain wines matured 3, 4, 5 years and even more.

calici vino

So let’s find out together the work that the winemaking technicians carry out in Tenuta Montemagno over the seasons so that the vines, in their path of development and growth, reach the optimal conditions to produce the bunches from which the good wine to be tasted will be obtained.

Let’s start this cognitive journey by talking about spring. An important and, at times, critical season, as it is subject to substantial changes in temperature (sometimes with the return of frosts), and even long periods of drought as happened this year in the months of February, March and April.

Without water, the plants slow down their growth, so in this period the technicians of Tenuta Montemagno have kept their attention high to catch any signs of suffering of the vines which, fortunately, have not appeared, a sign of a perfectly healthy cultivation.

May saw the return of rain which brought new energy for sprout growth.

While waiting for the rain to arrive, shredding and mowing (that is, cleaning the ground from grass) began between April and early May. An operation that facilitates the absorption of rainwater and eliminates water competition between the vine and the grass. These operations are performed exclusively with the use of mechanical tools and without chemicals.

Green pruning was carried out between May and June, namely the suckling and removal of side growths in excess. This well-calibrated operation allows to balance and facilitate ventilation within the leaf mass, with the advantage of reducing susceptibility to fungal diseases and increasing the capacity of sun rays absorption.

vigna

Starting from March, with the vegetative restart of the vine, the vineyard requires careful management of growth and operations to be carried out, in order to ensure the best vegetative-productive balance and therefore be able to arrive at harvest with a quality product.

cantine

The same can be said for the commitment required in managing the cellar works. As for the still white wines of Tenuta Montemagno (Musae, Nymphae and Solis Vis), following the alcoholic fermentation, the wines were kept in contact with the yeasts (refining sur lies) for about six months and bottled at the beginning of the spring.

The spicy and fresh Ruber (Grignolino) and the mellow and intense Violae (red Monferrato) were subsequently bottled.

In March the draft of the Barbera vinified in white was carried out, to produce the Spumante TM Brut. This operation is followed by about a month of refermentation and will remain for the next 24 and 36 months in refining on the yeasts.

The wines still present in the cellar remain in refining, some inside steel tanks (Austerum, Nobilis, Invictus) and some inside wood (Mysterium), waiting for the perfect moment to be bottled.

A lot of work to be done in spring and a lot of love we give to produce wines in the optimal conditions to reach tasting tables around the world.