San Giusto a Rentennano, a name of Etruscan origin, overlooks the upper course of the Arbia river in the farthest south Chianti Classico wine zone.
The estate began life as a medieval monastery of Cistercian nuns and was called San Giusto alle Monache (“of the Nuns”).
In 1204 it was fortified by the Florentines, after a treaty established it as their boundry with Siena.
Only portions of the ancient fortification still stand, its crenellated battlements, massive barbican wall and underground vaults, used today as the ageing cellars for our wines.
The medieval estate of San Giusto a Rentennano came into the Martini di Cigala family through marriage in 1914. In 1957, it was inherited by Enrico Martini di Cigala and in 1992, by his nine children. Today Anna, Lucia, Elisabetta, Francesco, Alessandro and Luca are partners in the estate company.
The estate is comprised of 160 hectares, situated at an average altitude of 270 meters above sea level. 31 hectares are planted in vineyards, 11 in olive groves, 40 in woods, 78 in cultivated and grazing lands.
The terrain is composed of various soils rich in different mineral components, sand, clay, lime, alkali, volcanic ash, argil and calcium.
The microclimate is characterized by considerable day and night temperature differences and often heat during harvest time.
All the vineyards enjoy exceptionally favourable exposure. During the months of July and August, we thin-out the natural growth of grape bunches by 30-50%, a practice called “green harvesting ,” which encourages the full and perfect maturation of our grapes.
San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo grapes, hand-picked when perfectly mature.
It is fermented in glazed concrete and stainless steel vats for about 14 days. During fermentation the skins and must are pumped-over and punched-down a number of times to extract the maximum qualities from the grapes.
After the wine has been racked , the skins are soft-pressed in an horizontal press and the juice thus obtained is added to the wine.
Malolactic fermentation is stimulated by heating the building where the vats are stored.
The wine is aged in medium sized casks and oak Tonneaux for about 10-12 months, during which period it is racked several times.
Before being released, it is held in bottle for at least another six months.