If an area is especially suited to growing vines and making good wine, it is due to certain weather and geological conditions as well as a passion and tradition handed down through the generations. All these conditions are found in their finest expression here in Chianti.
The choice of the area (which must be in a sunny position) and the type of soil where a vineyard is to be planted is of fundamental importance. According to an old saying, “vines prefer stony ground”, and stony soil is indeed ideal for Chianti varieties, since it allows water to filter through to the roots of the vine without stagnating. Soil types like Galestro (rich in splintered stones) and Alberese (light grey shaly limestone formed in the Eocene era) are both found in the Pogni and Marcialla areas.
The selected area must be ploughed flat where too sloping and ditches must be dug to channel rainwater and avoid the formation of stagnant pools and landslides. The next decision regards which vine varieties to plant and how to place the rows and plants. Rows of vines usually follow the slope of the land and the distance between them may vary between 2.3 and 2.8 metres, depending on the machinery available for working in the vineyard and the desired grape yield per hectare. This yield must not exceed 90 quintals per hectare, according to the production regulations for Chianti. The vines are usually planted 70-90cm apart and the number of plants per hectares thus varies from 4000 to 6000. The new vineyard is planted in spring and is ready for its first harvest after three years.
The vines has quite a long productive life at a good standard of quality, sometimes over 30 years.