Fattoria Le Pupille, one of the estates that has put Tuscany's coastal region of Maremma on the winemaking map, spent $775,000 last week to buy the 106-acre Bozzino estate, conveniently located on the hill behind Le Pupille's new winery, in the town of Grosseto.
"We leaped at the chance to buy Bozzino," said Stefano Rizzi, 44, who runs Le Pupille along with his wife, Elisabetta. "The estate had only been on the market for 12 hours before we signed the deal."
The Rizzis plan to plant 30 acres of vines immediately to Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera and Prugnolo (all local red varieties), and another 44 acres by 2005. Rizzi said the new vineyards would eventually replace vineyards that Le Pupille rents in the area.
Le Pupille currently makes a Morellino di Scansano red (Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese) and a single-vineyard Morellino, called Poggio Valente, that debuted in 1997 and has scored 90 points or more on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale with each vintage so far. The Rizzis' best-known wine, however, is the Cabernet-based blend Saffredi -- a benchmark wine for the region -- from a 25-year-old vineyard on the original Le Pupille estate.
"Though the new estate will give us the chance to increase the quantity of wine we produce, this is not our main aim," said Rizzi. "What we want to focus on is enhancing the quality of the wine in the glass." He added that the new vineyards would be integrated into the production of their Morellino wines, but not into Saffredi.
"We think Saffredi is as good as it can be," Rizzi explained. "Anything added would be to its detriment."
Check our recent ratings of Fattoria Le Pupille wines.
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