Owned & run by Stella Viola di Campalto, of Roman & Piedmontese origin, the now 7.7ha San Giuseppe wine estate – run by 9 people no less, including daughters Beatrice & Benedetta – is located close to the south-eastern village of Castelnuovo dell’Abate in an idyllic, light-filled amphiteatro dominated by a massive sky & a breathtaking view that stretches almost as far as the Tyrrhenian sea!
Stella created San Giuseppe on her own in 1992. She turned organic in 1996, planted it in 1997 (& 2003) & then became biodynamic (!) in 2002. The unfertilised, unaided but carefully tended vines thrive on a rich diversity of soils: mostly rocky, quartz, alberese, volcanic, iron, alluvial, limoso (silt)…
The parcels of vines are harvested separately in order to capture the maximum fruit quality and soil expression, handled by gravity & vinified in 100% oak, in large wooden troncoconici/vats, followed by affinamento in botte grande of approx. 17.5hL.
All her fruit qualifies as Brunello di Montalcino, yet in 2003 she chose to declassify everything to Rosso di Montalcino her inaugural Brunello vintage was 2004. The Rosso di Montalcino was treated like a Brunello, while the Brunello is now a Riserva, released a year later. Production is naturally low – she prefers not to green harvest – & is dictated by the whim of the vintage & what nature has to offer.
In 2011 she released two new wines from two diverse soils, & named them after her very different daughters: ‘Beatrice’ from the sandy soft soils of vigna Bassa & ‘Benedetta’ from the rockier, alberese soils of vigna Leccio.
Now that the vineyards have aged & flourished, Stella has moved to releasing separate expressions of wines from differing plots rather than blending them all together. And she no longer releases a Rosso.
In her wines Stella seeks “la semplicita e la complessita insieme” (both simplicity & complexity).