Syrah Cortona

My dream arose many years ago, when. I was only a boy fallen in love with Cortona and his land, and became real in the second half of the 1990s, when the old vineyards (sangiovese and trebbiano, 1.300 vines per hectare were grubbed up.

Beginning in 2000, new vineyards were gradually planted on both estate properties, using completely up-to-date methods, plant materials, and practices, and focusing on Syrah. This grape variety is considered authentically local, maybe felt as a viticultural heritage of the French occupation of the area during the Napoleonic era, two hundred years ago.

Many scholars support this theory; no doubt that it is a fascinating one, and I like to believe that it’s true.

Certainly the particular weather and the soil composition of Cortona terroir are the perfect conditions for the growth of Syrah, which gives superlative quality when cultivated with the particular attention it requires. My choice was therefore made not by chance or based on commercial reasons, but, from the beginning, I firmly believed in the potentiality of this grape and in the wonderful results we could achieve.

Syrah from Cortona is indeed unanimously recognized as one of the best of Italy, and this small area in the south-east of Tuscany is considered a French inspired enclave in the land of Sangiovese, and called therefore the Italian “Cotes du Rhone”.

It seems in fact that this grape variety is originated from that wonderful region in the Southern France, even if its name calls forth Middle East origin. It’s not by chance that some of the best Syrahs in the world are still produced in this area, just think of Cote Rotie or Hermitage.

My goal —set from the beginning in agreement with agronomists and oenologists —is to produce wines that are absolutely artisanal. Artisanal also means, in the strictest and most noble meaning of that term, using the most up-to-date practices and technologies, but working always and only manually, at every step of the way, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, with high respect for the environment, for the earth, and for its fruits—with their matchless sensory uniqueness.

My dream has always been to create wines “with a soul”, not at all standardized ones. The purpose was, and still is, to produce -keeping up with the growth of the vineyards- a great Syrah which could compete with the best in the world, but remaining absolutely Tuscan, with a clear Cortona character, able to express in an original way its terroir of origin, relying on the peculiarity, minerality and elegance that only ancient and really suited soils can give to a wine.

“I firmly believe that such a method of working is the best way to respect, and to please, not only nature and its fruits, but those as well who will enjoy our wines. My conviction is that the only way to obtain absolute quality is to work with extreme care both in vineyard and in cellar, focusing on small quantities and using only our own estate grapes. My winery, then is absolutely artisanal, a kind of workshop, a boutique, where we work in a simple, ethical way. And we firmly intend to remain just this way forever, since we do not live, nor would we ever want to live, for high numbers and quantity, but only for quality.”

Fabrizio Dionisio