Whilst the famous Tenuta San Guido, producer of legendary Sassicaia and first iconic estate established in Bolgheri, is a name know across the world by those with even a passing interest in fine wine, Grattamacco is an altogether more hidden gem.
A true champion of the hallowed terroir that is coastal Bolgheri, Grattamacco is perched atop a hill facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and was founded by adventurous entrepreneur Piermario Meletti Cavallari in 1977. Far from an investment-driven by the head, the establishing of Grattamacco was undoubtedly a leap of faith into what current winemaker Lucca Marrone describes as “the wild west” of viticulture.
Five long, hard years it took before the estate’s derelict buildings and neglected farmland were in a fit enough state to release Grattamacco’s first-ever vintage in 1982, a full three years ahead of the mighty Ornellaia’s debut. In something of a further leap of faith, and ultimately a testament to Cavallari’s belief in Bolgheri as a force to be reckoned with in fine wine, Grattamacco was the very first producer to label its top wine as “Bolgheri” rather than the ubiquitous (in the 1980s) “Super Tuscan”.
Laying the foundations, by all rights, of our modern understanding of everything from soil typography to microclimate and weather patterns thanks to the radical study commissioned by Grattamacco at the University of Milan, this is a wine of astounding importance and should be on the radar of all true lovers of Italian fine wine.