Since its inception, Ornellaia’s production has been influenced and inspired by the Mediterranean character of the coast near Bolgheri. Founded in 1981, Ornellaia has helped establishing this relatively young viticultural area and it is now regarded as one of the world’s most iconic estates.
Nestled in the foothills near Bolgheri, Ornellaia lies just a few kilometres from the Mediterranean coast. During the summer months, the cool sea breeze caresses the vineyards and nearby olive groves, while during the winter the hills provide protection from the cold north winds. Ornellaia believes that a wine should be the most authentic expression of the terroir from which it originates. The 115ha of vineyards benefit from a unique combination of maritime climate and a complex mosaic of marine, alluvial and volcanic soils – creating a distinct environment where red and white varieties can best express themselves.
Upon arrival at the winery, each lot was pressed and fermented separately. After lengthy, gentle pressing and natural decanting over one night, the various lots were fermented in 100% new oak barriques at temperatures of no more than 22°C. Upon reaching the desired sugar and alcohol levels, the fermentation was stopped. Malolactic fermentation did not take place. After racking, the wines were aged for 12 months, after which the various lots were blended. After bottling, the wine was aged for another year prior to release.
2017 will go down in history as being one of the hottest, driest years ever. Things were clear from the outset due to a particularly mild winter, with temperatures over three degrees higher than the seasonal average and rains within the norm. Consequently, the vines budded much sooner than usual, almost two weeks in advance.
The vegetative cycle was accompanied by hot weather with very little rain from the month of March, and this was interrupted by a sudden drop in temperatures at the end of April, which caused frost in various parts of Tuscany. Thanks to the mitigating effects of the sea, temperatures remained above zero along the coast, preventing damage to the young buds. The hot, dry weather returned in May, limiting vegetative development and the size of the bunches, while flowering occurred under excellent conditions. There was virtually no rain in July and August but fortunately the hot weather was offset by cooler temperatures at night.
Given the climatic conditions and low crop levels, the harvest of Petit Manseng also took place earlier than expected, in the first week of October.
“Ornus dell’Ornellaia was inspired by passion for our terroir and by the desire to explore its potential in producing great sweet wines, favoured by the typically mild and particularly breezy autumn in Bolgheri. Ornus dell’Ornellaia 2017, with its typical bright golden-yellow colour, develops refined scents of bitter almond and dry apricot to the nose. The first impression on the palate is soft and enveloping and the acidic vein typical of Petit Manseng gives length and verticality to the finish.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker
Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
100% Petit Manseng