The Máté family wine estate nestles on two private hills in the temperate, seaward zone of Montalcino. A Roman vineyard 2000 years ago, the
seven campi of marvelously varied terroir lie between 300 and 400 meters above sea level. The estate totals 27 hectares (60 acres) of Mediterranean woods of herbs and wild fruit, among which are 7 hectares (15 acres) of vineyards. They were designed by Fabrizio Moltard, agronomist to Angelo Gaja. The clones, chosen for each field by France’s Pierre Guillaume, comprise: Sangiovese (in fossil-filled tuffo), Merlot (in sandy clay), Cabernet Sauvignon (in galestro), and Syrah (on mineral-rich, southern terraces. Planted to a high density of 6200 vines per hectare (3000 per acre), the yields are kept extremely low by three annual green prunings to concentrate flavors. Selected, hand-picked at fullest maturity and fermented in small tem- perature-controlled stainless steel vats or new wooden barrels, the grapes are punched down by hand to extract colors and tannins, while the must is kept cool to maintain the rich aromas of fruits and spices.