Le Macioche is a beautiful but small wine estate in the heart of the Montalcino winemaking zone. Of the estate’s six hectares, only three are planted to vineyards producing Brunello di Montalcino with another one hectare devoted to olive groves. Le Macioche derives its name from the Sienese Macioca or Strawberry Tree, which is the primary type of tree found in the woods surrounding the estate. After being purchased and renovated by a young couple in the 1980’s, Cantina Le Macioche became known throughout the area for producing a wine of considerable power, but with significantly more elegance than its immediate neighbors. It was this unique character that first drew the Cotarella family to follow the Brunello wines of Le Macioche. Then in 2017, shortly after leadership of Famiglia Cotarella was passed to next generation—Dominga, Marta, and Enrica—the opportunity for this dynamic Italian winemaking family to enter Montalcino arrived. Although this change represents an exciting new chapter for both the Cotarella family and Le Macioche, the traditions and character of both will serve as the basis for this next generation.
Location of Vineyard
Le Macioche sits in the center of the Montalcino appellation, just about 5 minutes due southeast from Montalcino. Nestled in a prestigious neighborhood among such prominent addresses as San Polo and Fattoria dei Barbi, Le Macioche is unique in that its four sections of Brunello vineyard, spread over 7.5 acres, are all exposed to the Southwest. This, along with the elevation of roughly 1,400 feet above sea level, ensures both exceptional ripening and constant ventilation throughout each growing season. Such auspicious conditions have enabled Le Macioche to safely exercise organic farming practices with the 2018 vintage marking the estate’s full organic certification.
Le Macioche has always held a reputation for producing wines that display a degree of elegance and finesse. Winemaking at the estate is intended to provide this unique terroir the best possible opportunity to express itself clearly. Fermentations are carried out by yeasts indigenous to the property in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. The wine is then transferred, according to tradition, into large casks of Slavonian oak where it undergoes the malolactic conversion and further refinement. The wine experiences a brief fining with Bentonite clay, but is always bottled unfiltered to preserve character. With the estate’s 2017 purchase by the Cotarella family, winemaking remains highly faithful to the estate’s past. Minor updates, like a pre-fermentation cold-soak, are intended to enhance the components of elegance for which the wine has always been known without altering its character.