Azienda Agricola Betti – Quarrata (Pistoia)
The commercial farm (Azienda Agricola) Betti is a medium-sized Tuscan estate established at the beginning of 20th century that expands on about 60 hectares (just shy of 150 acres), 15 of which (about 37 acres) are dedicated to vineyards and 3.5 (about 8;65 acres), to the olive groves.
The property is located atop the ridges of the Montalbano Hills, at 150 to 200 meters above sea level (about 492 to 656 feet). The farm has passed from father to son since the late 1800's, and now belongs to the current owners, Paolo Betti and his sons, Guido and Gherardo.
The trio started restructuring the premises extensively with ongoing work, with the goal being to improve and update the wine making structures and technology.
The old vineyards, some of which date back to WWI, have been agronomically re-organized to produce better grapes. Some vineyards have been recovered by replacing some of the vines and by grafting others with younger plants. In other cases, the vines have been replaced completely. The new clones, as well as the type of culture, have been chosen with the specific location in mind. Obviously, they have prioritized the main vine of the Chianti zone, that is, the Sangiovese.
|A vintage photograph of the 'Cantinone'|
The renaissance-styled building was originally built as a winery in the early 1900s and was used to crush the grapes produced in the surrounding hills.
In the area, it is known as "Cantinone", or "the Big Winery", because of its size and the rectangular shape, that was unusual in the area at the time it was built. For a short period of time it was used as one of the three locations of the "Scuola-manifattura di Filet" (Filet School-Manufacturing Plant), founded in the late 1800s by the Countess Gabriella Rasponi Spalletti.
Currently it is used exclusively to crush, store and age the wine produced with the grapes grown on the estate property.
Both the aging and the winery sections are being restructured still, with the goal being to constantly improve the quality, until the best possible result is achieved.
Since 2003,new winemaking, aging and storing equipment has been installed and used. To the existing fifteen 50-hectoliter (1.320 gallons) oak barrels, French barriques have been added to improve aging and maturation of the wines, thus enhancing its specific perfumes.