The Art of ‘Making Wine’

The ingredients for ‘making wine’ are the earth, the plants, the different ways of planting and pruning the plants, the types of treatment the plants receive, the harvesting method, and the type of maturation process employed.

The soil where these vineyards are located is one of the best in Chianti and is characterised by a type of soil called Alberese and Pleistocenic sand and clay.

Gualandi’s vineyards were created to give prime importance to quality: every plant produces no more than 900 grams of grapes, the vines are pruned to a cordon system, Guyot or to a “taille gobelet”. The entire production does not exceed 15000 bottles. The vineyard is hoed by hand and the plants are treated with a copper and chalk solution used in organic farming. The harvest takes place from mid-September until the first week of October.

From start to finish the process focusses on ensuring the highest quality of wine. The grapes are hand-picked with baskets which means every bunch is carefully selected so that only the best are pressed into wine.

From Barrel to Bottle

The wine-making process is carried out in line with the traditional Chianti country methods. The materials used in the winemaking are the same as those used 50 or 100 years ago.

Fermentation takes place in semi-conical vats or in Italian-style Slavonian oak barrels made by the Garbellotto company and Penna Botti. The pressing is also hand-made. Although the amount of liquid produced this way is less than when using modern machinery, the wine produced is of a higher quality.

A particular aspect of the wine making process is the fermentation of the grapes, which takes place with stems in open wooden vats. Afterwards, the wine is transferred to a series of barrels and barriques where it rests for approximately two months without being removed. It is periodically stirred with the batonnagemethod. Inside these containers, the malolactic fermentation takes place, the process that transforms malic acid into lactic acid. Because lactic acid is less astringent than malic acid, this fermentation is necessary to lower the acidity of the wine and create a robust body. After two months, the wine is finally moved to new barriques or oak barrels ranging from three to 25 hectolitres in size. The wine is kept here until it is bottled and frequently stirred with the lees during the aging process.

In order to ensure that the characteristics of the grapes remain intact and present in the final product, the wine does not undergo any filtering before being bottled.

Some wines, such as the Rosato are lightly filtered with compressed flower filters.

The Wines

The different grape varieties (mainly ancient clones) grown in our vineyard are: Sangiovese, Cannaiolo, Colorino, Pugnitello, Trebbiano, Malvasia del Chianti, Merlot and Foglia Tonda. From these varieties, we have created six wines, each producing between 1000 and 3000 bottles per harvest. The Chianti Colli Fiorentini has an annual production of 12000 bottles.

Chianti Colli Fiorentini D.O.C.G. “Montebetti”: a dry red wine, derived from Sangiovese, Cannaiolo and Colorino grapes. The wine ferments with the grape skins for a longer period of time than usual, and is then aged ten months in barrels and several months in bottles. Harvest: mid-September to end of September. Production: 12000 bottles.

GUALANDUS Sangiovese Toscano I.G.T.: a dry red wine, pure Sangiovese fermented with skins and stems but without seeds. This wine then undergoes a double fermentation process thanks to the traditional ‘Tuscan regime’ process and is then aged in Italian oak vats and barriques. It rests about two months on the skins and 10 months in barrels.
Harvest: last ten days of September to the beginning of October
Production: 2500 bottles.

GALANTE Rosso Toscano I.G.T.: a dry red wine, primarily produced from Sangiovese grapes, mainly the old variety “Abrusco.” This wine is fermented on the skins and aged in Italian chestnut barrels. Some ancient grape varieties are added. They are the pre-Chianti varieties such as Pugnitello and Fogliat Tonda.
Harvest: last ten days of September
Production: 1500 bottles.

FOGLIA TONDA, Rosso Toscano I.G.T.: a dry red wine, primarily made from a traditional Tuscan vine variety that has all but disappeared. Podere Gualandi was one of the first wine producers to start planting this grape again. This wine ferments with skins and is then aged in oak barrels and barriques.
Harvest: last ten days of September to the beginning of October
Production: 300 bottles.

Rosato, Sangiovese Toscano I.G.T: dry Rosé wine, primarily produced from Sangiovese grapes, this wine is fermented without the skins.
Production: 1200 bottles.

Vinum, Bianco Toscano I.G.T: a dry white wine, produced from Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes, this wine is fermented with skins and stems according to an ancient Roman recipe more on this.
Production: 800 bottles.

The wine labels for each type of wine are miniature reproductions of original paintings by Guido Gualandi.


Olive Oil

Gualandi’s olive oil is the result of a combination of attention to quality and respect for nature. No pesticides are used on our 450 olive trees, of the Moraiolo, Frantoio, Piangente, Pendolino, Canino, Leccino, Razzo and Lazzaro varieties. The only treatment used on our trees is copper and chalk, which is a composition used in organic farming to protect plants against fungi and certain bacteria. Horse manure is the only fertilizer used.

Excellent olives are not the only prerequisite for excellent olive oil. Nor is careful treatment of the trees enough. The harvesting and pressing methods are also fundamental for producing high quality oil.

To avoid damaging the olives, the harvest is done entirely by hand. The olives are then collected from nets that have been placed under the trees to keep the olives from getting dirty, which would increase the acidity of the oil and hence lower its quality. For the same reason, we don’t use any olives that have already fallen off the tree in our oil.

To maintain low peroxide levels, the olives are pressed within 24 hours of being picked.