Italian supplier for terra cotta amphorae.
Antica Fornace Montecchio has been producing terra cotta goods since the 1700’s and remains a family run farm, winery and business located in San Donato which is in the comune of Impruneta in the Chianti region of Italy. In collaboration with Massimmo Ricci; a famous architecture professor from Florence, Montecchio produces small, large and practical terra cotta vessels for winemaking purposes.
Marco Boracchini, a technical engineer that previously ran ceramic and other terra cotta operations oversees the terra cotta side of the business. With four large ovens, years of experience, collaborating with Ricci and easy access to Impruneta’s most sought after terra cotta quarries, Montecchio takes pride in crafting standard and unique amphorae used for the fermentation and aging of wines.
Pottery and the specific use of producing amphoras for winemaking purposes was brought to Tuscany during the Etruscan empire dating back to 700 B.C. The comune of Impruneta represents a unique 200 square km region in the hillsides of Florence between the Ema and Greve rivers that contain open air mines where the local terroir’s clay and rocks contain high percentages of “galestro” which provide resistance to color and temperature fluctuation.
Impruneta clay is also famous for being lower in metals especially iron in comparison to other clays. The amphorae are built following two methods; either in molds or via the Colombino method which is done entirely by hand.
“The ground has all the life you need to give birth to grapes. A vine needs the earth to make a grape. Once you have that grape, you need the earth again to make the wine”
Josko Gravner, Gravner Wines, Friuli Italy
“Godfather of making amphora wines with amphoras from Georgia”
From the sourcing and mixing of the clay to the, construction, cooking, air drying and testing of the amphora, the process is labor intensive and time consuming. The amphora can either be built using
the "colombino" technique that is pictured to the left where you can only build 30 cm per day. Or, for smaller units, the amphora can be built via molds.
MONTECCHIO STRONG STYLISTIC POINTS
Allows for natural temperature stabilization during fermentation
Respectful of the wine's varietal characteristics
Can enhance earthiness characteristics in a wine
Is porous and has a micro-porosity similar to barriques, therefore allowing your wine to breathe over time
Because of high micro-porosity, performs best on reductive red varietals and shorter aging programs
If managed well, can be used forever.
Italian supplier for terra cotta amphorae. (2.6HL-16HL)