Stella di Campalto

Tuscany, Italy
At a Glance
  • One of the first certified biodynamic producers in Montalcino
  • Her winery, Podere San Giuseppe, is located in the very southeast corner of the appellation in Castelnuovo dell’Abate
  • Her wines are often, fittingly, described as, unique among the wines of the appellation, they usually have a delicate, aromatic quality that is not always associated with Brunello
  • All of her wines are 100% from the vintage on the label – never taking advantage of the appellation’s allowance to blend in small amounts from other vintages
  • Stella releases her wines much later than other producers – normally about two years after other producers

Stella di Campalto’s estate, originally known as Podere San Giuseppe, was founded in 1910. It fell into abandonment during WWII and had been in an a state of near ruin since that time. In 1992, her family purchased the delapitated estate and began to resuscitate the property. The estate is comprised of approximately thirteen and a half hectares in total, with five and a half currently committed under vine. The head of the family winery is the lovely Stella di Campalto, who has overseen the winemaking and viticulture since 1992. She has practiced certified organic farming here since 1996 and in 2002 began practicing biodynamic farming as well – becoming certified in 2005. The estate lies at the very southeast corner of the Montalcino zone, outside of Castelnuovo dell’Abate.

The heart and soul of the estate is its lovely clutch of top Brunello vineyards, which include the vineyards of Vigna al Lecchio, Vigna Curva, Vigna al Sasso, Vigna Bassa and Vigna All’ulivo, all of which sit between nine hundred and a thousand feet above sea level with generally south facing exposures (only Vigna All’ulivo has a westerly exposure and also has a small section classified solely for Rosso di Montalcino production as well). The vineyards are lovingly nurtured to produce the finest most natural fruit possible, and then the cellar regimen at Stella di Campalto is designed to treat the wines as gently as possible to retain the individual vintage characteristics of the wines. In this regard none of the modern cellar parlor tricks such as cultured yeasts or extraction enzymes are used during the vinification. Also, there is no pumping of the wines in the cellars, as everything is handled by gravity in the three stories of cold cellars under the property, with the wines aged in a combination of barriques and larger botti for anywhere from eighteen to twenty-two months prior to bottling. The bottling is all done by hand, and then the wines are aged for additional time in the bottle before release. Stella feels that her wines need more time in the bottle before showing optimally and is now releasing her Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino nearly one full year after most other estates.

All of Stella’s vineyards (with the exception of the small slice of Vigna All’ulivo) are classified for Brunello production, makes the beautiful Stella di Campalto Rosso di Montalcino amongst the finest values to be found in all of Tuscany. Her Brunello, in it’s own right, has quickly risen to become a benchmark for the region.