Wine making in the heart of Chianti Classico at the vineyard Terreno

In a scenic mix of winding roads and rolling hills covered in wine fields you will find the charming organic vineyard Terreno. People have been producing classic wine and eating great food for thousands of years at these dreamy environments in Tuscany, Italy. I got the opportunity to pay a visit during harvest and also meet up with the lovely family & people behind Terreno Agriturismo.

It’s not everyday you meet a family who actually fulfill their dreams and buy their own romantic vineyard in Italy. However, Mats and Birgitta Ruhne did just that back in 1988 and without any previous knowledge in winemaking they got their hands dirty and set a completely new path for their family in Tuscany. Now the family is running both the vineyard and The Winery Hotel in Stockholm.

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Today, the Terreno vineyard is run by their passionate daughter Sofia Ruhne and along their Chianti Classico DOCG wine they are experimenting with loads of different varieties, methods and styles. Their genuine interest and passion for organic craftsmanship and products definitely shine through and most of the work at the vineyard is done by hand.

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

During a few hot September days a few journalists and I were invited to visit this beautiful place and to be a part of the harvest and have a closer look at the production. Along Sofia their junior winemaker Andrea showed us around and told us more about the organic way of growing grapes and the different challenges that comes with it. Further down the post I will get into more detail what it takes to be a Chianti Classico certified wine but a part of it is that no irrigation (external watering) is allowed.

This summer was yet another super hot and dry one which resulted in smaller yields and the harvest starting a couple of weeks earlier then usual. The extreme heatwave even called for sunscreening the plants with an organic agent. The Thursday morning we went out was no exception and even if I probably spent more time taking photos and eating the grapes it was boiling. However, a great change compared to the rainy Amsterdam I came from.

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

After a few hours of solid picking we had a traditional harvest lunch with vegetarian lasagna, fresh salad picked from the garden, a super tasty pecorino, bread and the rustic red house wine Terreno Rosso di Frasse (which suited to be enjoyed chilled this hot day) and the white Terreno Bianco di Stella. All these local specialities are worth the visit it self if you ask me.

A power nap later we continued to the facilities where the grapes are being crushed and the juice transfered to huge steel tanks for primary fermentation. Even if the grapes are picked by hand MOG (material other than grapes) they need to be sorted out a second time manually. To achieve the desired taste, wine makers pick parts of the fields at different ripeness to later be able to blend the different batches. The longer you let the grapes ripen, the higher sugar level it will contain (results in more alcohol and raisin tones).

After the primary fermentation, the wine is transfered to concrete tanks and oak barrels for further aging. At least 12 months for Chianti Classico and at least 24 months for the Chianti Classico Riserva.

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

More info about Chianti Classico:

Chianti Classico is a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) which is the highest classification an Italian wine can be awarded. This guarantees the standards of production methods and the quality of each bottle of wine. To be labeled a Chianti Classico DOCG you need to follow a set of rules (besides of being located in the 71,800 hectares region between Florence and Siena). The wine should consist of a minimum of 80% Sangiovese and up to 20% of any other approved red grape variety such as Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. The wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 12% with at least 7 months aging in oak, while Chianti Classico Riserva must be aged at least 24 months at the winery, with a minimum alcohol level of at least 12.5%. No irrigation (external watering) is allowed and the harvest yields are restricted to no more than 7.5 t/ha (3 tonnes per acre). All Chianti Classico wines are also famous for the significant Black Rooster trademark on each bottle.

Where can I taste the Terreno wine?

You can enjoy the Terreno wines and also see a small scale production with grapes from the vineyard at The Winery Hotel in Stockholm. Also make sure to book your tickets to their wine festival 30th of September – 1 October 2017 here.  You can also get some of their wines at Systembolaget in Sweden in a few selected stores and through their website here.

Visit Terreno Agriturismo:

The best way to reach Terreno is by flying in to Florence (approximately 3 hours from Stockholm). Then I would prefer to rent a car (approx. 50 min ride south of Florence) because the area has great sightseeing and beautiful surroundings you don’t want to miss. Alternatively, you can grab a taxi but then you’re more limited and might miss out on some nice day trips.

To book a tasting or make a reservation for their apartments – visit terreno.se

Below is a selection of my favorite shots from the trip:

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

 

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

terreno-entry-petter-backlund-ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

Terreno, Tuscany and The Winery Hotel by Petter Bäcklund - Ploppestable

  1. Petter! Vilka fantastiska bilder! Du är grym. Så kul att dela detta minne 😊.
    Hej från Bettina

    1. pebac skriver:

      Åh vad snällt Bettina, stort tack ☺️

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