Welcome to Canneta
Our story with Canneta began in 1979, near the famous medieval towers of San Gimignano. A small farmhouse in a secluded valley, a centuries old maple tree standing in front of the house as a guardian, rows of vines running through the fields, the freshwater creek in the valley below, the kitchen walls darkened by fireplace cooking... how could anyone not fall in love with all that? We did, "we" being Valeria who came from Milan where she worked as an editor, and Stefano who led an eventful professional life in his native Trieste.
Fed up with city life, and full of slightly 'hippy' ideals and with only rather vague ideas about agriculture, we made our mistakes but gradually learned to work the vineyard, to make wine, to design labels for the bottles and to cope with marketing and sales.
Our inspiration nevertheless remained indelibly linked to our ideals: a balanced life, a great respect for our own land and the nature surrounding it, and for the people who work on the fields.
So organic ("biologic") wine-growing was the natural choice for us, and we became pioneers of it long before first Europe and then the rest of the world defined the rules for organics and organic wine.
We have 13 hectares (32 acres) of land in total, all of it on hills or slopes of one sort or another, with a perfect south-easterly exposure or our vineyards. We have 6 hectares (15 acres) of vines, comprised of:
- 4 hectares (10 acres) of Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG for dry white wine, 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of red Sangiovese and Merlot grapes for San Gimignano Rosso DOC red wine, and 1 hectare of mixed vines like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling (both white), Aleatico and other grape varieties (red).
Our soils are rich in fossilised sea-shells dating from when this area was still under the ocean, around 5 million years ago. The soil is called tufa, and is a sandstone rich in minerals which allows vines to survive Tuscany's hot summers with no need of irrigation. Canneta's vines are planted at around 4,000 vines per hectare (1,600 vines per acre), with about 2 metres between each row and 1 metre between each vine in the row. We prune the vines either to the traditonal long cane or 'Guyot' method, with the grape bunches on one main shoot, or in the case of Sangiovese to shorter spurs (with bunches on each of several shoots). Our yields average 6,660 bottles per hectare (50 hectolitres or 5,000 litres per hectare). We deliberately encourage wild grasses to grow between the vine rows. This green cover provides a bit of healthy competition for the vines, meaning we get more concentrated, deeply flavoured wines, and it encourages more biodiversity like butterflies, insects and worms, all of which makes for healthier, more disease-resistant vines. We only use organically-approved sprays. We have been officially certified organic since 1988. We hand pick all of our grapes. Hand picking means we can accurately leave in the vineyard any grapes which are less than perfect. Our consultant winemaker (or "oenologist") is Guido Beltrami.