Manuela Niederacher is Liaison Officer at the Dievole estate in Tuscany. It might sound like any old job in the wine business, if Dievole were any old winery. They just happen to be custodians of a 900 year heritage.
Manuela, tell us about Dievole, when did it all begin?
Wines have been made on this site for over 900 years, the first vintage going back to 1090 when the land was known as “Dieulele”, or in English, “divine valley”. Since then the estate has been passed on through various farming families and some of the families who live and work on the estate have been on the land for hundreds of years. This isn’t a place of work; it’s a home, a way of life, and much more than that to so many people.
What makes Dievole different from other Tuscan wineries?
For us, we have a great winemaking tradition and history, and a long, rich experience of Chianti winemaking, longer than most. With that in mind we’ve a lot of past success and heritage to live up to. We occupy a very special place here, right in the heart of Chianti Classico, and no doubt, the terroir we have to work on is second to none, but I think the people also make us unique. Everyone feels they have a role to play in keeping impeccably high standards in everything they do. It’s an ingrained determination to live up to a quality associated tradition, and what is now a world renowned reputation for quality. We have to use modern practices and technology to make the best wines possible but we have to repect the land and the traditions here as well, otherwise what’s the point.
Tell us about the Sangiovese grape, what’s all the fuss about?
The conditions here are near perfect for growing this native variety. It’s a grape that, if not ripened properly, can be a little harsh and acidic, but here in Chianti we achieve a wonderful balance. They are full, fruity and elegant. A real expression of Tuscany we think, and even better when enjoyed with good food. It’s our noble grape and a real expression of Tuscany we feel.
You have a Nero d’Avola from Sicily. What’s the connection there?
We have our own team in Sicily, employed by and part of the Dievole winemaking family, who source grapes from trusted growers who we’ve had a good relationship with for many years. The wines are made in Sicily by our own people who use contracted winemaking facilities and then the juice is brought to the Dievole estate here in Chianti where we bottle the wines. We use the same strict quality control procedures that all our Tuscan wines receive.
What is your favourite Dievole wine?
That’s a tough one! The Novecento is probably our most complex and luxurious wine. It’s our top Chianti and I would be hard pressed to go for anything over that. But the Vendemmia is our best selling Chianti, our customers love it. For everyday drinking probably the Dievolino. It’s a very good inexpensive Sangiovese.
To view the range from Dievole, with 20% off until the end of April, click here.