Melini

300 years in the heart of Chianti

Melini. Tradition and innovation. Two ways of experiencing wine,
two expressions of the same philosophy. Two aspects, just one history.

 

The Melini winery in Gaggiano is situated 300 metres above sea level on the Chianti Classico hills along the road from Poggibonsi to Castellina in Chianti. Here, between 1970 and 1974, alongside an original building complex constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, a modern winery with four floors was built into the side of a hill. It was designed for the separate vinification of parcels from single vineyards (the cru concept). All vinification phases, from drying in the loft to aging in barrels and bottling are performed using specific techniques and following the philosophy of quality.

Melini has a longstanding tradition dating back to 1705, the year it was established, which is strongly rooted in the region of Tuscany and focused on developing Chianti.

Melini can boast three undisputed achievements:

  • it has played a key role in making Chianti popular worldwide since the last century;
  • it was the first winery in Tuscany (and one of the major wineries in Italy) to adopt vinification of selected parcels from the finest vineyards ( the cru or “vineyard policy” concept) as the highest expression of quality;
  • it is one of the most popular brands of Chianti worldwide.
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Philosophy

Melini takes the philosophy of quality to the highest level, expressing its extensive and diversified winemaking skills, as well as its love of the land and nature. Since Melini knows the value of wine, it has always invested in its development, anticipating changes in a continuously evolving market.

A success based on excellence:

  • a history spanning over 300 years;
  • longstanding experience: a key player in major world markets for over a century;
  • strong ties with the territory thanks to its great heritage of vineyards in the Chianti area and the Chianti Classico area;
  • vineyards among those with the best location and exposure in the region.
  • a history that has always looked to the future thanks to a tradition of innovation that continues to this day.

{1705}

In 1705, thirty years before the end of the rule of the Medici family and eleven years before the Grand-ducal Proclamation of 1716 that limited the Chianti production area, the Melini family of Florence, wealthy entrepreneurs from the Val di Sieve, decided to get involved in vine-growing and wine production. The Winery Melini was established in Pontassieve. Its coat of arms has three stars showing its allegiance to the Guelphs and three pomegranates, symbols of sincerity, generosity and harmony.
The Melini Winery began to produce Vermiglio, the classic red table wine of Tuscany. Wine was sold in barrels, which led to considerable difficulties in terms of preservation and transport. The oenologists at the winery struggled to solve these problems and followed the advice of the greatest experts of the time, including Cosimo Villifranchi: “flavoursome, sturdy and truly uncomplicated wines without any kind of regulation are required for export… and cellars dug out of rock, where wine will remain exquisite for many years”.

{1830}

1830 Since its very beginnings, the Melini winery has been a forerunner of technological progress: as early as 1830, following the recommendations of Novellucci di Prato, wine was heated for a few minutes to 50°C to pasteurise it. At the time, it was an innovative process of stabilisation, which Luis Pasteur would discuss in his Etudes sur les vins in 1866.

{1860}

1860 The turning point came in 1860 (the year before the Unification of Italy was proclaimed), when Adolfo Laborel Melini started to use the “straw flask” invented by the master glassmaker Paolo Carrai. Chianti was made more easily available to the Italian and foreign market in a tempered glass flask that was resistant to the pressure of a mechanically inserted cork.

{1877}

1877 In 1877, the Chamber of Commerce and Arts of Florence awarded Melini a certificate and a gold medal “for having established the most extensive and reliable trade of Tuscan wine abroad”.
It is worth mentioning that Melini achieved this leading position over the years: it is still one of the most popular brands in all countries today.

{1900}

1900 In the 20th century, after the death of the oenologist Luigi Melini, who had volunteered to fight in the Great War, the winery in Pontassieve was purchased by Buitoni of Perugia, which it later sold to Martini & Rossi of Turin.
Later on, Gruppo Italiano Vini became the owners and the headquarters of the longstanding company were moved to the Chianti Classico area in Gaggiano di Poggibonsi, in the province of Siena.

San Lorenzo

The Melini winery, the pressing centre for grapes from its own vineyards, is situated in Gaggiano di Poggibonsi, halfway between Florence and Siena. The winery is surrounded by 58 hectares of vineyards, including 34 hectares in the Chianti production area and 24 hectares in the Chianti Classico area.

Granaio

Granaio is situated not far from Gaggiano, along the road to Castellina in Chianti, near a small picturesque village and a magnificent cypress grove. The vineyards cover a surface area of 12 hectares.

Terrarossa

A single vineyard covering 28 hectares in the Chianti Classico area, situated between Castellina in Chianti and Panzano in Chianti.

La Selvanella

La Selvanella is situated in the municipality of Radda, in the province of Siena, very close to the Panzano in Chianti area. On a total surface area of 139 hectares, on the knoll of a hill at 400-600 metres above sea level, stands the single 50-hectare vineyard, planted with Sangiovese vines. The vineyard is one of the finest locations in the Chianti Classico area thanks to its balanced combination of soils, exposure (south-west) and microclimate, with unlimited light. Villa La Selvanella is located here, in a beautiful scenic spot. With the 1969 vintage, this vineyard produced Chianti Classico Vigneti La Selvanella Riserva, one of the first Italian wines to be vinified from selected parcels from single vineyards and to indicate the cru of origin on the label.