Our visit to the Monteraponi farm.

Dante wrote “In the middle of the path of our life, I found myself in a dark forest”, we instead in the middle of our tour we find ourselves in one of the most enchanting views of Radda in Chianti, a medieval village that is home to Monteraponi, which takes its name from the homonymous mountain that recalls the etymology of the Montrachet (from “Mont Rachaz” or bald mountain) in the Côte d’Or. However, this is a barren mountain that leaves a more wooded landscape at the bottom of the valley, with soils saturated with sapling that allows vines to stretch their roots to find nourishment.

Welcoming us is Alessandra, Michele Braganti’s wife, who immediately expresses her love by describing the company as their “happy island.”
Born into a family of jewelers, Michele decided to take a countercultural path and in ’74 bought a few hectares, thus planting their most famous cru Baron Ugo, named after the 10th-century count-governor of Tuscany of the same name.

Thirty years later, thanks to a well-known Chianti Classico consultant, he began making wine. Today it has 12 hectares of vineyard where it grows Sangiovese, Colorino, Canaiolo and Trebbiano under organic management.
Harvested strictly by hand around the first week of October, they then make use of a destemmer from Burgundy suitable for delicate grapes such as Sangiovese and Pinot Noir.
Then there is further selection on a vibrating sorting table in which the best berries are destined for gentle pressing that ensures the integrity of the skins (Demoisy method), and the must will then go on to ferment spontaneously without selected yeasts in elliptical-based concrete tanks from Burgundy. A choice that allows the wine to oxygenate by promoting continuous movement of the must.

It vinifies in what was once a village with post office, ovens and ages using oak barrels, from a fine texture and delicate toast from Austria and Burgundy, in old barns. In this way, the ancient stone walls naturally ensure constant humidity and temperature all year round, thus reducing the hand of man to a minimum. An unfiltered wine will then be obtained, thanks to natural clarification by sedimentation to which a minimal dose of sulfur dioxide will be added to preserve their raw material.

Next we move to their tasting room and are introduced to their three flagship products. The coat of arms in the center of the label immediately jumps out at you.
As mentioned earlier, Hugh the Marquis of Tuscany was such an influential figure that he is mentioned in Dante’s Paradiso.

“Each one who of the beautiful sign bears
Of the great baron whose name and whose merit
the feast of Thomas reconfirms,
From it he had militia and privilege;
avvegna che con popol si rauni
Today he who wraps it with the frieze.”

In fact, Hugh died on the feast day of St. Thomas and was buried in the very Badia Fiorentina where suffrage masses are celebrated for him every year.
Hugh’s coat of arms consisted of seven red bands on a white field, and few and of very ancient nobility were the Tuscan families to whom he granted the privilege of joining his coat of arms to the family coat of arms.

Chianti Classico 2021
Made with 95 percent Sangiovese and 5 percent Canaiolo, it is the result of their youngest vines that make it snappy with a mouthwatering olfactory range and a lively sip.

Chianti Classico Riserva Campitello 2019
Made from 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo and 3% Colorino, it is the product of their oldest vineyards. The nose is more exuberant like a mille-feuille of fruit and spices. The palate has a more timid entry but slowly takes its space, revealing a very refined tannicity.

Tuscany IGT Baron Ugo 2019
It features the same blend as Campitello but immediately stands out for its elegance. It is luxurious with impressive floral and mineral notes, followed by a refined palate with a distinct balsamicity that refreshes the sip and a deep finish.

We have been collaborating with this company for a few years now, and we felt it was our duty to get to know the people behind these wonderful labels so that we could best express their passion to you.

In our chart you will find the 2012 Baron Ugo, we meanwhile continue our tour…