Foglia Tonda is a new star of the Tuscan vineyard
Forum regarding the old grape variety called Foglia Tonda with wines from 9 wineries. Donatella Cinelli Colombini and Gianni Fabrizio tell the story and the characteristics
On Friday February the 1st at Fattoria del Colle, in Southern Tuscany, the Foglia Tonda grape variety will make its debut into wine society, where there is a comparison between great winemaking in front of great wine critics. Donatella Cinelli Colombini, host and initiator of the rediscovery of this old Sienese grape variety abandoned more than 100 years ago and now once again of interest to the market and to the experts. She together with another 8 colleagues will tell the story and give a tasting of wines based on Foglia Tonda variety.
FOGLIA TONDA FORUM – HOW IT WAS ORGANIZED
<<We found 18 wineries producing Foglia Tonda and 9 of them, from all over Tuscany have replied to our invitation. The forum allows a group of experts and influencers to get to know the Foglia Tonda characteristics better, within its terroir and style differences>>explained the famous taster and journalist Gianni Fabrizio. He will guide the tasting of three of the wines presents obtained with only Foglia Tonda , where some aged in an amphora will give the possibility of better understanding the fruit, ad two blends will give the possibility to consider the potential of Foglia Tonda as a partner for Sangiovese, main variety in Tuscany. The other 4 wines will be served directly by their producers with an around the table setting.
PARTICIPANTS OF THE FOGLIA TONDA FORUM
Podere Sequerciani (Gavorrano GR), Podere Ema (Grassina FI), Mocine (Asciano SI), Il Castellaccio (Castagneto Carducci LI), Donatella Cinelli Colombini Az.Agr. (Trequanda SI), Mammuccini Droandi Nuova Agricoltura (Montevarchi AR), Podere Anima Mondi (Casciana Terme PI), Santa Vittoria (Foiano della Chiana AR), Poggio al Vento Mascelloni (Castiglion d’Orcia SI).
CARATTERISTICS OF WINES WITH A FOGLIA TONDA BASE
According to Gianni Fabrizio << Foglia Tonda produces wines with great poliphenolic richness, characterized by a definite acidity and a good longevity>>. Regarding the future of this variety << it is to be understood if its vocation is to live its life in solo or if it is to be a privileged partner of Sangiovese in Super Tuscan wines that are totally autochthonous>>.
FOGLIA TONDA HISTORY
Foglia Tonda is a variety used in southern Tuscany and maybe in Umbria since the beginning of time. It seems that already in 1877, it was used in Castello di Brolio. Breviglieri and Casini (1964) talk about it being in Chianti. More recently it has been identified in the historic vineyards inside the Sienese walls with the project “Senarum Vinea” (2007-2012)
Since 1970 Foglia Tonda has been registered in the Registro Nazionale delle Varietà di Vite and in 1978 it was approved by the Università di Firenze.
It was abandoned about a century ago when when its vigour gave the poor farmers of long ago lots of unripe clusters.
Its most peculiar characteristic is the nearly circular leaf. The clusters are quite big, compact and pyramid shaped, sometimes with wings. The berries are oval with a prominent belly and a blue skin bloom. Its worst characteristic is its fertility: it produces an excessive amount of grapes. Its virtue is how well it resists to Peronospora, botrytis and partially to mildew. It sprouts, flowers and has its veraison and, obviously is ripening a little slower than other varieties.
FOGLIA TONDA IN THE GLASS
Foglia Tonda wines have a dark garnet colour. To the nose they are intense, with hints of violets, berries and dried plums. In the mouth they are full-bodied. These wines are apt for a long ageing. Studies have emphasized that Foglia Tonda wine obtained with grapes from the Grosseto area present higher total polyphenols while the wines produced in the Valdichiana area result being more coloured and rich in Anthocyanins
FOGLIA TONDA AT DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI’S FATTORIA DEL COLLE
In Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s winery the Foglia Tonda variety arrived in the year 2000, in the form of 400 grafts of vitarium from the Regione Toscana. These were grafted onto adult vines in the “Boschetto” vineyard. The experiment gave immediately good results and in the next few years it was repeated. The exaggerated production of grapes, typical of this variety, was the main problem in the search for a balance in vegetation.
Professor Cesare Intrieri from the Università di Bologna has been of upmost importance, he had the baby Foglia Tonda grafts produced from the mother plants.
The wine made with a blend of Sangiovese and Foglia Tonda by Donatella Cinelli Colombini was born with the 2001 harvest and was called “Cenerentola”, which means Cinderella, because the Orcia Doc region to which it belongs, is the Cinderella of the situation, positioned between two step sisters called Brunello and Vino Nobile.