Stella di Campalto
The historical name of Podere San Giuseppe Winery takes its name from the sharecropping estate established by Giuseppe Martelli in 1910. Abandoned in 1940, the estate was acquired by Stella Viola di Campalto in 1992. Stella is deeply devoted to the rhythms, culture, and beauty of Montalcino. The 13-hectare San Giuseppe estate includes 5.5 hectares of vineyards. Woodlands and olive groves surround the unique, roughly six vineyard sites, resting at elevations of 240-340 m. A great deal of time and resources are devoted to maintaining the natural ecosystem in and around the vineyards, resulting in wines that are pure, unrepeatable expressions of their terroir and year of origin. Each plot is a small cru with its own distinct character and each wine is vinified separately in wooden vats. The estate has been certified organic since 1996 and employed biodynamic methods since 2002. Stella di Campalto produces what nature provides each year: a Brunello di Montalcino and a Rosso di Montalcino with potential for a Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, and in rare circumstances such as 2011, barrel selected bottlings. Each vintage and wine receive a completely tailored treatment, based on that harvest’s strengths and characteristics, with sometimes significant variations in aging periods and number of bottles produced year-to-year.
I was introduced to Stella di Campalto through Richard Betts, a Master Sommelier who was based in Colorado at the time. He told me about tasting her wines while in Italy and suggested I give them a look. No way around it… these wines are just about as good as they get from the region, and for Sangiovese. Stella herself is an incredible story, making something from nothing - planting vines and finding her own way in a male dominated region in the early 2000's. An incredible story, easily told through experiencing her legendary wines.