Kirsten and Peter Kern – the owners of this stunning Brunello estate – have collected and enjoyed wine for more than 30 years. In pursuit of their dream to own a vineyard in Montalcino, they travelled extensively, especially in Tuscany and Italy, continuing to expand their knowledge – and their cellar! Kirsten worked in the culinary and wine world for many years, both as a chef and teacher, while Peter’s background was media and travel, before they realised their brightest dream born of a shared passion for wine and food: a deep desire and determination to contribute to and support the long legacy of Brunello.
The Il Palazzone estate has three separate vineyards in quite different areas of Montalcino. The microclimate and extraordinary variety of terroirs complements and enhances the final blended wine. The family practise agricoltura responsabile to take care of the land: taking an individual approach to each vineyard, utilising chemical-free fertilizer, doing the absolute minimum of treatments and these never using chemical pesticides, and wherever possible practising manual operations rather than anti-fungal treatments, “”by hand at any cost”” as they say! This philosophy extends to the work with the grapes, which are hand-picked and hand-selected, with rarely more than 5.000 kg per hectare yield harvested (the maximum yield allowed for the production of Brunello is 7.000 kg per hectare). In the cellar, each vineyard is vinified separately, with fermentation taking place in 50 HL barrels. The wines usually receive at least forty months in wood instead of the two years specified by the Brunello DOCG regulations. Il Palazzone wines are created with a long bottle aging period in mind – promising to mature and improve over the years. In exceptional vintages the estate’s best grapes are destined for the production of the prestigious Riserva. Riserva spends a year more in wood than the vintage Brunello and is released a year afterwards.
The vineyards are the heart of this estate, and each has its own personality.
Le Due Porte
The Due Porte vineyard – next to the Il Palazzone cellar – is 540 m above sea level, northwest facing. Thanks to the altitude and the exposition, its grapes benefit from the excellent ventilation and pronounced day/night thermal variation. The soil type is pietraforte arenaria, a type of local sandstone with a significant presence of galestro, which gives good drainage. 2020 saw the first release of single vineyard Le Due Porte Brunello 2015.
Vigna del Capa
The Vigna del Capa, located below the hamlet of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, southwest of Montalcino, is quite different. Over 200 meters lower in altitude and south facing, this is the warmest vineyard, and the vines here are over 30 years old. There is a significant presence of fine gravel and shale, with sand, clay and silt in equal proportions making up the soil. The fruit from this vineyard is distinguished by saline and aromatic components, thanks to the presence of marine fossils in the soil.
The third vineyard, La Vecchia, 400 meters a.s.l., is nearly 40 years old and close to Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in an area with iron, magnesium and manganese in the soil. The grapes from this vineyard have an incredible mineral component and a deep and developed root system.
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