“When I was a child, I had various dreams: becoming a farmer, a politician or an entrepreneur. I have actually become all of them” Michele Manelli told me. Michele has been the mastermind of the Salcheto Winery since 1997. Based in Montepulciano, near Siena in Tuscany, the winery produces wonderful reds such as the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

“This Wine is entirely made from the Sangiovese Prugnolo Gentile vineyards. It shows notes of berries and mineral, non-herbal notes, with a vibrant acidity” explains Michele. “Its features make the Salcheto Nobile a potentially long-lasting wine, that fits perfectly on the table with game, mushrooms, and truffles.”

Even the worldwide famous wine expert Jancis Robinson has underlined the quality of Vino Nobile on her website: “Just to the east of Montalcino, around the town of Montepulciano, there is a similar system for the local wines, known as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, whose local strain of Sangiovese is called Prugnolo Gentile.

Quality here has been improving steadily of late, with Rosso di Montepulciano playing a similar role to its counterpart from Montalcino.

The Vino Nobile by Salcheto can be found in the Libiamo wine store, of course.

Wine and music: perfect pairing

Salcheto can boast other renowned wines, among which is the Salco. “From the most mature plots in our vineyards of the company, Salco is produced owing to a clone of Sangiovese Prugnolo Gentile that at each vintage reaches a slight overripeness. After maturing two years in wood, it is refined in our cellar for up to four years” explains Michele Manelli. For the 2004 edition of the Salco, the winery distributed the wine in six different bottles with labels designed by the visual artist and movie-maker Michel Gondry.

The labels depicted drummers from various periods: the Memphis Blues of the Fifties, the British Rock of the Seventies, Seattle’s Grunge in the Nineties and other eras. “I might have become an artist, too” jokes Michele.

Salcheto is a pioneering estate. The winery has developed a 100% environmentally sustainable wine-making process and can also boast to be the first producer in the world to have certified the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine (2011).

Indeed, the winery operates an energy independent cellar system, self-produces its fertilizers and, furthermore, uses wooden materials from controlled sources and responsibly managed forests. Many wineries are trying to follow the example set by Salcheto.

The rise of Tuscan wines

Salcheto belongs to a generation of Tuscan wineries that aim at melding tradition with innovation.

“The Tuscan brand is growing globally, the quality of the local winemaking processes is increasing and most wineries have learnt to grow Sangiovese while taming its tannicity,” says Michele during our interview.

The Salcheto Winery is part of a wonderful estate at the centre of which is the farmhouse (once a watchtower for one valley leading to Montepulciano). The farmhouse accommodates nine rooms where you can lodge during a Tuscan-styled wine tour. Time to plan your holiday -- Libiamo!