Can you share a brief history of your winery and how you got started in the wine production business?
Rocca delle Macìe was founded in 1973 by my father Italo Zingarelli, who, following a series of successful ventures in the film industry, chose to fulfill his childhood dream of buying a large farm and turning it into a model farm.
After his visit to the village of Le Macìe, he felt that he had finally discovered what he had been searching for. He aptly named his finding Rocca delle Macìe. In the Tuscan dialect, "macìa" refers to a collection of stones, and Rocca delle Macìe represents a sturdy and majestic hilltop fortress. In the early months of 1973, my father embarked on the restoration of the farm's 14th-century buildings, while simultaneously initiating the process of planting new vineyards and olive groves.
At the end of the same year, we began restoring our newly acquired land - the estate of Sant’Alfonso. Italo's love for the country alongside a fresh way of viewing agricultural investment led to the construction of a cellar provided with the most modern equipment used in the village of Rocca delle Macìe.
Our wines made their first appearance on the Italian and foreign markets in 1978 and were immediately welcomed with enthusiasm, especially by restaurants and wine shops. These first successes encouraged Italo to continue investing and in 1984 he bought a new farm called Fizzano which was already well-known for the quality of its wines.
In the early 80s, I began working alongside my father. From the very beginning, he instilled in me the importance of establishing a direct, open, and honest relationship with our customers. This essential foundation is crucial for any collaborative endeavour we undertake. Beyond this, our hard work and unwavering efforts to ensure that our wines continue to improve in quality, coupled with meticulous service in both the cellars and vineyards, constitute the efforts that take place behind the scenes. Today, Rocca delle Macìe wines are not only featured in the finest restaurants across Italy but also in over 45 countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and Brazil.
Could you guide us through the wine-making process, starting from the selection of grapes to the final product?
The quality of our grapes is guaranteed by the expertise of our workers and by very attentive and selective management in the vineyards. Routine procedures such as green harvest in July and leaf plucking in August promote optimal cluster growth.
On top of that, selective pruning after the harvest guarantees low and very balanced yields per hectare. Our fertilisation is completely organic and the fight against vine disease is done in respect of the environment.
Following a careful selection of healthy bunches our grapes are picked by hand and immediately transported to the winery in covered trucks to avoid dust or smashing of the berries in case of a sudden rain.
In our cellar, the grapes are soft-pressed - the must first and the wine later are constantly controlled by our winemakers and cellar men with the best modern equipment, starting with a temperature-controlled system for maceration, oak barrels for maturation, and ending with an automatic bottling line.
More than 7.000 hectolitres of wine are aged in Slavonian and French oak, in prestigious barriques and in the typical "caratelli" for Vin Santo.
What types of wines do you produce and what are their distinct characteristics?
We offer a diverse selection of six Chianti Classico wines sourced from the Maremma and Chianti regions. Our Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva are our iconic offerings, crafted from the finest grapes from our four estates. We also produce Morellino di Scansano, Sasyr, Vermentino, Chardonnay and a delightful Rosé. The combination of dry, hilly soils and the region's warm climate ensures optimal grape ripening, while the brackish sea air contributes to the development of distinct aromatic characteristics.
For Lina Stores, we proudly produce two exquisite wines that reflect our winery's heritage and the Italian way of life.
The red wine is a 100% Sangiovese IGT sourced from vineyards in the Municipality of Castellina in Chianti, known for optimal vine cultivation conditions. With diverse soils, it offers a range of aromatic profiles and unique sensory characteristics.
The white wine is a smooth Vermentino IGT from the sun-kissed southern coast of Tuscany, boasting a beautiful straw-yellow colour. The perfectly ripened grapes are carefully hand-picked, promptly vinified, and bottled after the spring harvest to capture ultimate freshness.
Can you recommend a food pairing for each of our Lina Stores wines?
Lina Stores Vermentino is a fresh, smooth and balanced white which pairs well with all courses, as an aperitif or with fish and in particular vegetables. This wine is wonderfully aromatic on the nose and pleasantly fruity with notes of acacia and groom.
Lina Stores Sangiovese is a sapid, smooth and full-bodied red. Beautifully intense on the nose, it is pleasantly savoury with red fruit notes. This is a very versatile wine, which can be enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with fish and vegetables, with pasta, red or white meat or with spicy food.
What makes your vineyard unique from others in the region?
What truly distinguishes Rocca delle Macìe is our inherent sense of family. Every aspect of Rocca carries a deep and interconnected family history; no one is here by chance. The stories of friends, relatives, parents, and children passing the baton all serve as a testament to the invaluable connections that bind us together. While the company has evolved since my dad first acquired the initial hectares, the spirit remains unchanged, residing in our memories, our innovation, and the stories we preserve and pass down through the years.
Do you have a particular memory or story related to your wine-making journey that you'd like to share?
It was an unforgettable experience... even now, a smile lights up my face when I recall it. During a business trip with my father in New York, we found ourselves in a restaurant. As we dined, a waiter approached the table next to us, gracefully pouring Chianti Classico. It was an emotional moment for both of us, but he looked particularly moved. He admitted that the moment meant more to him than seeing his own films on the big screen. In that very instant, my path became clear.
You can find the Lina Stores Wine Collection in our delicatessens and in our online shop for nationwide delivery. For an extra treat why not enjoy a glass of Vermentino or Sangiovese in one of our restaurants!