Castel del Piano

Location: Lunigiana, Toscana
Year Established: 2004
Size: 2.5 hectares
Varieties: Canaiolo, Durella Gentile, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Pollera Bianco, Pollera Nero, Vermentino Nero
Viticulture: Certified organic
Vinification: Indigenous yeasts. The whites go into stainless steel, while the reds are raised in older barrels.

You arrive at Castel del Piano by following ever-narrowing roads up the Lunigiana valley (“valley of the moon”) to Andrea & Sabina’s charming little castle and adjacent vineyards, which are tucked up on a plateau just above the Taverone river. Quite near the border with Liguria, the microclimate is influenced by the proximity to the sea which is less than an hour’s drive away. The carefully tended vines run parallel to the river in several long rows, where they are farmed organically and with intention toward encouraging biodiversity in the soil and the surroundings. The winery is compact and filled up with an assortment of stainless steel tanks, old barrels, and open-top wooden fermenters. The Lunalies is a sparkling rosato made from Vermentino Nero and Canaiolo, while the Mattagna is a still, skin-contact rosato made from Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The Durlindana is made from Pollera Nera but vinified as a white wine. Their single variety reds – Pepe Nero, Sassomano and Castel del Piano – are made from Vermentino Nero, Canaiolo, and Merlot, respectively. All together the production at Castel del Piano is less than 1,000 cases per year.  Andrea & Sabina are also working in conjunction with the University of Pisa in an effort to revive many hyper-local varieties that have been long forgotten, such as Marinello, Groppello, Durella, Albarola, Uslina, Lugliesa, Bracciala, Barsaglina, Caloria, Luagda, Pinzamosca, Verdella, Varano Bianco, to name a few!