The Earth is rich in rock fragments with active layers formed by the erosion of local rocks, particularly marl and dendrite.
The Micro Climate
Though typically Mediterranean, the climate is due to the differing orientations of our slopes and modulation of the surrounding hills, with rainfall concentrated in the spring and late autumn (annual average 700 mm.) The proximity of Monte Amiata (altitude 1740 m.) to the Southeast, provides a natural protection against exceptional events such as cloudbursts or hail. Perched on its own promontory 375 above sea level, the estate is not affected by late mists or frosts which can take place in the valleys. Winds and breezes blowing from all four directions guarantee the best conditions in all seasons. During the entire vegetative phase of the vine, the weather is mainly hot with mostly sunny days ensuring a gradual and complete ripening of the clusters.
In the Vineyard
The Casa Raia vineyards, totalling 4.5 ha, range from 44 years to the most recently planted one. Our one ha of Brunello is made from the oldest single vineyard. Our goal is to maintain the biodiversity and natural balance of the vineyards, therefore, in the fall the soil is worked gently and seeded with a variety of organic plants and flowers providing natural nutrients to the soil. The entire estate is certified organic and tended with loving care.
We prune our vines following the cycles of the moon, working continuously for fourteen days as the moon is on its descending path. The pruning method of the vines is the cordon spur: 4 spurs per trunk, and double cordon: 6 spurs per trunk, obtained by short pruning (2 buds). We cultivate and harvest by hand taking care not to damage grapes before they get to the cellar. Each bunch is carefully inspected and cleaned before it goes into the de-stemmer. The rigorous selections throughout the year produce a well balanced grape that will render the fine Brunello Di Montalcino, the super Tuscan Bevilo and the fresh Bevilo Rosato.
In the Cantina
The use of a de-stemmer without a crusher allows the grapes to fall gently, by simple force of gravity, into a 30hl french oak barrel for the Brunellos and stainless steel vats for the super tuscans. Given that the yeast is present on the grapes, the natural fermentation begins in a few hours …extracting color, flavour and tannins from the must. Once fermentation begins, the cap is monitored daily and kept wet by a process of remontage and delestage for several weeks. The wine is wood basket pressed, offering a longer pathway for the juice, as it travels through the compact pomace cake.
Transference happens in aged French oak barrels in an underground cantina, where the exchange of humidity is achieved through floor openings under the barrels. The wines undergo natural malolactic fermentation before the winter and are then transferred into the oak aging barrels, leaving behind the heavy lees. While natural evaporation occurs, the barrels are topped up and the aging process is monitored diligently.
The Brunello is then aged for 4 years in 30ht litres oak barrels allowing a natural settling to occur without filtration. On the other hand, the Bevilo Bevilo blends from the different barrels are assembled according to our own specifications (without filtration) then aged two years in oak barriques or tonneaux and bottled on the premises. The Bevilo Rosato is made without de-stemming the bunch and pressed immediately after the harvest. It ferments one month in stainless vats after which it is racked outside to clarify naturally in winter temperatures before being It is then bottled in the spring.
Our wood Barrels
The barrels are of a unique, hard oak, rich in noble rich in noble aromas and delicate flavours. We use the highest French qualities from Allier Fôret. The trees from which these barrels are made, are sustainably managed by the government and cut down when they are about 150 years old.
The noble oak’s bark is naturally biodegradable and is thus destined to be the irreplaceable partner of wine. When bottling, we use natural cork, from Bourrassé, a French company dedicated to sustainability and respect for the environment.