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August 25, 2015

Wine. The names not to be missed in Lucca

From the local grape varieties of the Apuan Alps down to the sparkling wines of the Versilia region and up through the biodynamic “district”of the hils around Lucca

Province of Massa and Carrara
Starting from the border with Liguria, we discover territories that are quite variegated and unusual due to the vicinity of the Apuan Alps. There are peaks up to 2000 metres and the sea washing up on sandy beaches. This area has rediscovered some indigenous vines recently such as Massaretta, Barsaglina and Vermentino Nero by wineries such as Cima in Massa, Terenzuola in Fosdinovo, Calevro in Massa, Terre Apuane in Carrara, Castagnini in Carrara and Monastero dei Frati Bianchi in Fivizzano. Among the wineries that have grown in this territory over the past ten years, exercising their heroic version of viticulture, literally stripping the grapes from the mountains and the sea to offer extraordinary wines, special mention is due to Luigi Pucci’s Le Canne, assisted by the oenologist Giorgio Baccigalupi, as is Castel del Piano; to Giuseppe Balestra’s Belmesseri; to Francesco di Pietro Mosti’s L’Aurora with oenologist Marco Raffaelli; to Antonio Farina’s Fedespina; and to Alberto Tommasina’s Tenuta Lodolina. Recently, some wineries such as Cima with San Lorenzo Bianco, Calevro with Le Viole (white) and Rosé from Massaretta, and Tenuta Lodolina with Emilius (white), have obtained noteworthy results in the production of Charmat method spumante wines.

Province of Lucca
Colline Lucchesi DOC and Montecarlo DOC
The province of Lucca is divided into two denominations, Colline Lucchesi DOC and Montecarlo DOC. The great distintion is that almost all the wineries of Colline Lucchesi have taken the biodynamic path. These wineries have more or less a decade of experience, are led by young oenologists and young owners who have chosen to manage their vines according to the principles of Steiner. For this reason, Lucca is the area of Italy with the greatest concentration of biodynamic agricultural enterprises. In fact, in Italy experts of this process consider Lucca a district. The leader and pioneer of this philosophy is Tenuta di Valgiano near Capannori, with the support of their oenologist, Saverio Petrilli. Their cru, Tenuta di Valgiano, goes for about €60 the bottle. The second was Fabbrica di San Martino, the third was Podere Concori pratically in Garfagnana, followed by Tenuta Maria Teresa, which has almost completed the reconversion process, and Calafata, born with the principles of biodynamics and a very young team, members of an association linked to the local parish. In all of these cases, production is turning out very refined products. In the adjacent Montecarlo DOC, no wineries have adopted this philosophy, although some are turning to organic. The event that has characterised this territory in the past 7-8 years is the transformation of an historic winery, Tenuta del Buonamico, which has been making wine since the 1960s. A group of oil entrepreneurs of Lucca have invested millions of euros in this estate to transform it completely and make it into a more modern enterprise. This is the company that is supposed to influence the territory to imitate its direction. The rest of the territory consists mainly of small wine-growers who are generally wary of modernity.
Tenuta Mariani, founded by Ido Mariani in 2005 above the Massaciuccoli lake, definitely merits a special mention because it produces a Tuscan spumante wine that is bound to be a great success. 


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