Montescudaio, Tuscany • CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Italians are quite provincial. They love to travel the world, but when in Italy, many prefer spending time only in their region or hometown. The wine from their region, not to mention the food, is always the best, no questions asked.

That’s why it was quite a surprise when Luisa Silvestrini, an architect by trade, and her husband Paolo moved from Piedmont to coastal Tuscany to start their own winery in 2006. As Luisa will tell you, this was a part of Italy that they fell in love with, having traveled to very frequently. They really gained an in depth understanding of the wines from the area, first as consumers, and eventually as producers.

After intense study, Luisa found her perfect vineyard site on the rolling hills of Motescudaio, just 10 short kilometers from the ocean in the province of Pisa. Away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Tuscany, this region has soft rolling hills full of Mediterranean brush, oak trees and a general tranquility. Based on many factors, she selected wine varietals that would best express themselves on her tiny 5 hectare farm in this sun kissed part of Italy. Before her planting, the lovely hills had never hosted vines. She experimented with a few different varietals, that after two years, started to bear fruit and seemed quite healthy. These were the results that her and Paolo were looking for, and they knew that they were on the right track.

After just a few years of winemaking, Luisa is a point of reference for this part of Tuscany. The winery is organic, uses renewable energy to create about 10% of their power, and also uses a unique gravity based water retention system. In a region full of fellow small producers, many of which are organic producers, Luisa’s work here has still managed to stand out. In Montescudaio, the consortium has a general rule that requires organic production, which acts as a sort of protective measure for the territory.

Luisa focuses on the production of Sangiovese, along with some international varietals like Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The wines are grown in sandy soils with high fossil content. This gives a consistent minerality to the wines and allows Luisa to work with low yields.

Everything done at Colline di Sopra seems to have a purpose, whether its their commitment to organic production or the names of their wines. Eola, which is their base line wine, is named after Aeolus, the Greek god of wind. The mostly northern facing vineyard receives a constant breeze from the ocean, hence the name of the wine. This breeze reduces the dampness on the vines and helps keep the grapes healthy and happy.

Luisa’s last project as an architect was designing her beautiful winery blending it into the hill on which it lies. The winery is fully equipped with solar panels, and relies on gravity to move her wine naturally, instead of pumps, through the winemaking process.

The beautiful rolling hills where the winery lie allow for constant sun for Luisa’s vines and of course that constant wind is always a factor here. Proof of this are nearby wind turbines, helping to create power for nearby towns.

The soil is a mix of pockets of clay with plenty of stones and sandy. There are plenty of fossils of seashells as well from the Pleistocene era.




Varietals : Merlot 50%, Sangiovese 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%, Syrah 5%

A young wine with a ruby red color and hints of purple, it is full bodied but also quite fresh in the mouth. You can feel the effect of each grape in this blend. There is a woodsy, very Tuscan feel to this wine from the Sangiovese. The Merlot provides roundness and bright fruit. The Syrah provides spice while the Cab Sauv provides structure and a dark fruit profile. The sandy terrain leads to some great minerality and a refreshing quality to this wine!
This wine works well with pizza and tasty pasta dishes like ravioli. Even lobster fra diavolo or other seafood dishes of this nature work well. Try Eola with red or red meat.
Harvest occurs by hand at the end of September. After a brief maceration and fermentation the wine ages for 6-8 months in stainless steel. A few months resting in the bottle separates the wine from being released to market.

Varietal : Sangiovese 100%

A coastal Sangiovese grown in the sandy soils of this great property. One could argue that this is a more feminine style of Sangiovese because of where it is grown and the decision to age it with used oak. Don’t worry, however, this wine still packs a punch and represents everything we know and love about Sangiovese.

The wine has notes of dried cherries, chocolate, tobacco and leather, as well as licorice. Silky smooth tannins and some acidity and red fruits appear on the finish. The wine lingers and has a bit of earthy funk to it that is characteristic of Sangiovese and proof of the organic winemaking process.

Bolognese or classic Italian meat sauces. Of course a wild boar ragu would be ideal! Steak and hearty stews works nice here as well, along with aged, hard cheeses.
Grapes are harvested by hand. The wine ferments in stainless steel and then will undergo malolactic in french oak. The wine remains in French oak for 18 months and then spends 6 months in the bottle before release.
These wonderful stories are coming soon!

Visit Le Colline di Sopra’s Website