The vines have particularly special characteristics. The first is that the vines are not grafted, but actually come from the original ancient stock. These have been regenerated naturally over the years and cuttings replanted. The second most interesting and unusual characteristic is the evidence of the rare natural mineral, ALUM, which is present in the soil within the Riserva. Research has shown that there is only one area in Italy where there is a viniculture on “Alum soil”. Historically, this precious mineral was greatly coveted for its disinfectant properties (it congeals blood) and the valuable benefits to the textile industry (fixing colour in fabric). More significantly, the presence of Alum in the soil gives the wine a very distinctive flavour and deep red colour. Secondly, the great benefit from the presence of the alum around the roots of the vines has prevented the development of Phylloxera. This in itself is an invaluable asset to the wine production and so the vines remain very healthy.
One vineyard of approximately ¾ hectare is currently in full production (for private consumption). The second “vecchia vigna” (old vineyard) has an area of 1.628 hectares, with few vines remaining, but these could be resurrected and new cuttings planted. There are currently the two areas of vineyard within the Riserva. However, as mentioned, there are additional areas of field which can be further developed by planting more vines using the existing stock as a base point for the production, resulting in circa five and a half additional hectares.
Historically, this region of western Tuscany had a significant viniculture production, which over the years went into decline. More recently, inspired by the worldwide acknowledgement for the neighbouring area of Bolgheri, there has been a grand revival and several new productions have now been established to great acclaim. Notably the Monte Rossola Vinery, situated approximately 4kms north of the Riserva which has already achieved global recognition and awards for its red wine production and is currently under significant expansion with a further hectares of vineyards.