Scopeto del Cavalli, a family-owned and operated winery, was one of the first farms to obtain organic certification in Montalcino. Perched on the western slopes of Montalcino in Tuscany, the wildflowers and the olive trees have been purposely left in the vineyard – applying permacultural and biodynamic practices – to enhance biodiversity and encourage the symbiosis of olives and vines. The surface of the vineyard is less than a hectare (about two acres), so great care is provided to both growing the grapes and selecting the finest for winemaking.
Beatrice, the owner of Scopeto del Cavalli, moved to Montalcino with her husband, a French painter, and their first newborn daughter in 1971 when it was still a medieval town. In the 1970’s, the town of Montalcino consisted of grocery stores, shoe-makers, a butcher, a baker, and even a candle-stick maker… but only one wine-shop. At the time, the town was surrounded by farms with vegetable gardens, wheat fields, and small vineyards cultivated by oxen-drawn plows. In all, there were only about five large estates who were beginning to market bottles of Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino.
Ten years after moving to Montalcino, Beatrice and her husband purchased Scopeto del Cavalli, a smallholding on the terraces just below the town of Montalcino. During the first few years, Beatrice concentrated on harvesting the olives from the 400 olive trees on their land, and made wine for their own family’s consumption in the barrels that they had inherited from the farmer who sold them their house. It wasn’t until the end of the nineties – when their children were grown – that Beatrice and her husband decided to plant proper vineyards on the terraces.
To produce Brunello, Beatrice needed an EU standard winery. She came to an agreement with friends from Cupano winery down the road, and rented some of their space to store their vats and barriques. After the first Scopeto del Cavalli vintage in 2008, every vintage’s harvest takes place in September when the grapes are transported down to the Cupano Winery. After a meticulous selection, they are poured into vats and start their fermentation process. When this process is over, the wine is aged in high quality french oak barriques between 2 to 3 years before being bottled. It is then aged in the bottles until it can be sold on the fifth year after the harvest.