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Ornellaia, founded in 1981, has quickly become one of the most iconic producers in Italy (and beyond) -- a legendary estate hidden in the foothills of Bolgheri, facing the Mediterranean coast. Ornellaia produces world-class wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, and prides itself on its obsession with excellence – at all levels. No shortcuts in the production process are allowed or tolerated, each grape is subject to a double selection process, and each vineyard is vinified separately in individual tanks, allowing each individual base wine to contribute its own character to the final blend.
Unlike the majority of the appellation, most of the 284 acres of Ornellaia vineyards are situated on the hillside above and around Bolgheri. In addition to direct sunlight, the vineyards benefit from cool maritime breezes during the summer months, allowing a slow ripening of the grapes and bringing freshness to the wines, as well as hillside protection from the cold northern winds in the winter. The great variability of the soils – marine, alluvial or volcanic origins – creates a highly diversified patchwork of micro-terroirs (more than 70 distinct plots).
Axel Heinz, who initially studied in Bordeaux and made wine in Pomerol, has served as the senior enologist at the estate since 2005. In addition to its Grand Vin, Ornellaia, the estate produces a second wine called Le Serre Nuove dell’ Ornellaia, as well as an entry-level blend called Le Volte dell’Ornellaia. Ornellaia has been experimenting with white wines since its inception, and also grows several white varieties – Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Vermentino and Verdicchio – from which they make an elegant wine called Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. 2013 marked the released of the inaugural vintage of Ornellaia Bianco - an extraordinary barrel-fermented blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
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