Stella di Campalto
Stella di Campalto makes some of the most sought after wine in Montalcino and her wines are known all over the world. But it wasn’t always this way. Stella will be the first to tell you that she didn’t choose to be a winemaker, it chose her.
Her family acquired the San Giuseppe property, in a remote area just south of Montalcino, in 1992. The land had been abandoned in the 1940s and was overgrown and in poor shape. Although Stella had no winemaking experience, she was convinced by her aunt who reads tarot cards that she should apply for an EU grant to start a winery. Her grant was approved, one of only three grants allocated in all of Tuscany.
Stella decided to move to the farm for just one summer, but the experience in the vineyard changed her in ways she hadn’t imagined. She ended up staying for years in a rustic house with no TV or modern conveniences, little disposable income, and with two toddlers in tow. She broke ground herself, planting all of the vineyards, and although those early years were incredibly tough, she told us “they were the best years of my life.”
Stella was a pioneer from the outset, making the decision to go organic in 1995 and biodynamic in 2002, long before most people had even heard of such a thing. She rolled up her sleeves and listened to what the land was telling her. Working the land, she says, gave her the energy to keep going.
To hear Stella talk about her wines is an incredible experience. She told us one was like “a classical dancer, delicate but very strong with perfect balance.” Another was like “an artist living in a loft in New York,” and one was “a bit full of himself, he needs to sit in the corner for a while until he is a little more easy going.” We could listen to Stella talk about her winemaking methods all day, her energy is infectious and this is reflected in her truly outstanding wines.
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