Mezzo Braccio

The Wine

Rheine Riesling develops a unique expression on the Monteloro estate producing pleasing wines with a distinct character. The vines thrive on calcareous clay soils rich in rocky deposits for wines with great complexity. The name “Mezzobraccio” comes from an old Florentine unit of measurement used in rural areas for small parcels of land and the term was coined from the better-known unit of measure the “Florentine Braccio” (Florentine arm).

Mezzo Braccio

The Wine

Rheine Riesling develops a unique expression on the Monteloro estate producing pleasing wines with a distinct character. The vines thrive on calcareous clay soils rich in rocky deposits for wines with great complexity. The name “Mezzobraccio” comes from an old Florentine unit of measurement used in rural areas for small parcels of land and the term was coined from the better-known unit of measure the “Florentine Braccio” (Florentine arm).

Mezzo Braccio

The 2017 growing season started out with winter temperatures that were well below average and several snowfalls.  Spring weather was mild with limited precipitation during the months of May and June.  A hot dry summer prompted early development of clusters.  September brought some light rain showers that guaranteed optimal ripening of the Riesling fruit.  Grapes that produce Mezzo Braccio, which come from the “Fonti” vineyard, were harvested by hand between the end of September and the beginning of October, preserving a perfect balance between acidity, aromatic intensity and sugar concentration levels.  

Grapes were brought to the cellar for destemming and were then gently pressed to extract the juice as delicately as possible.  Alcoholic fermentation was performed separately for each individual vineyard block in stainless steel vats at temperatures that did not exceed 16°C (60 °F).  The wine was kept at a temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) up until bottling which was done mid July 2018.  Mezzo Braccio aged in the bottle for an additional 15 months.  

The Monteloro estate is situated at the foothills of the Apennine chain at the gates of the city of Florence at an average altitude of 1650 feet (500 meters). It extends over close to 1500 acres (450 hectares), more than 230 of which are planted to vineyards. It is a unique area for the cultivation of Riesling, distinguished as it is by a cool climate during the entire year and mineral-rich soils. It is, in Tuscany, an ideal terroir for the cultivation of aromatic white grape varieties. Monteloro, in the past, was an area once inhabited by aristocratic Florentine families such as those of Beatrice Portinari and Dante Alighieri who passed hot summer months here in their manoir houses. It has been recounted, in fact, that this landscape of woods and narrow white country lanes was the inspiration of Dante’s voyage in the “Divine Comedy”. Homage to this tale is rendered in the creature of fantasy, the body of a triton intertwined with the wings of a dragon which form the “M” of the Monteloro estate’s name. The Mezzo Braccio (“half an arm”) name derives from a centuries-old Florentine unit of measurement once used in rural areas for the small parcels of land divided from the better known Braccio Fiorentino (“Florentine arm”). The wine has been produced ever since the 2007 vintage.

Mezzo Braccio 2017 is straw yellow in color.  The nose offers notes of aromatic plants such as thyme and sage that blend with sweet notes of candied orange and mature hay.  Its palate is particularly savory, supple and full bodied.      

Tenuta Monteloro

Tenuta Monteloro

The Monteloro estate is located near Florence, just behind Fiesole on the foothills of the Apennine mountain range at an altitude of 500 meters (1640 feet) above sea level. The property extends over 600 hectares (1500 acres) with 94 planted hectares (232 acres). This is a unique area in Tuscany; an ideal terroir for producing white wines in particular Riesling and Pinot Bianco. The vineyards enjoy a year round cool climate on mineral rich soils. At one time, Monteloro was home to aristocratic Florentine families, such as Beatrice Portinari and Dante Alighieri, who spent summers in the countryside vacationing in their country manor homes. According to legend, this unique countryside of forests and narrow white country trails was the inspiration for Dante in his travels in the Divine Comedy. Fantastic mythological creatures possessing a triton’s body and dragon’s wings seem to pay their respects to the territory’s legacy and form the letter “M”, logo of the Monteloro estate.

Soil

Soil

Clay soils, tending towards calcareous with notable presence of very fine gravel.

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