Nothing short of legendary is Enzo Tiezzi and his efforts within Montalcino. At the young age of nineteen in 1958 (now in his eighties) Enzo began working with his hometown grape Sangiovese. He cut his chops at well-known producers on the Southwest slope like Poggio alle Mura in the 60s, Col d’ Orcia in the 70s and Argiano in the 80s. Today wine critics taste old vintages from these producers when Enzo was at the helm and recognize a different hand steering the ship. Known for guiding Brunello to its most soulful expression, Enzo is a naturalist and his wines evoke a deep sense of place and varietal typicity. Some of the ethos he’s employed for decades consist of organic growing practices, native yeast fermentations in barrels and aging in Slavonian oak. The wines are unfiltered and sulfur additions have always been slim to none.
In the mid to late 80s after he solidified himself as a scholar among winemakers he was announced the President of the Consorzio of Montalcino. During his tenure he successfully elevated the status of Brunello from DOC to DOCG and formed the DOC for Rosso di Montalcino. His knowledge of the land, the grape and his vision for their potential were well recognized. So much so that he aided the overturning of a decision by the government in the mid-nineties to turn Northern Montalcino into a landfill. Grazie Enzo! After he did his part in sparing the appellation he secured himself his own collection of farmhouses where he finally produced under his own label.
Starting with Poggio Cerrino & Cigaletta vineyards, just NE of the ancient hilltop town, he makes his Poggio Cerrino Brunello and Rosso. Further up the hill at the top of Montalcino proper is where he farms the legendary Vigna Soccorso and bottles only Brunello and in its best years Brunello Riserva. Noted as the first vineyard to label a bottle “Brunello” back in 1870, it is here that the pioneering oenologist Ricardo Paccagnini began planting Sangiovese on terraces at a time when flatlands were commonplace. Enzo was privy to the history and terrain at Vigna Soccorso and knew that these vineyards that were in ruin since Professor Paccagnini’s departure in 1917 were well worth restoring. He replanted all the vines in alberello fashion (bush vines), refurbished the tiny farmhouse that is now his winery and revived the original label of the vineyard. Exhibiting a very old school, pre-industrial approach to farming and winemaking, Tiezzi wines are a timeless expression of Montalcino.
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