We live on a stony hill above the Ombrone river with good drainage, high mineral content and a wonderful view. Year after year we have confirmation that it is “un vrai, grand terroir”. The estate consists of 35 hectares of organic farming: 6.4ha of vineyard, 2ha of olive oil trees, 18ha of wood, 8ha of arable land. We hope to succeed in imbuing our wine with a memory, the landscape, a season, the story of our enchantment.
Ornella Tondini and Lionel Cousin moved to Montalcino from Paris with their daughter Orsa during the 90s. Ornella was a journalist at L'Autre Journal, while Lionel worked as filmmaker and director of photography.
They already had a strong connection with Montalcino, having spent the most of their summer holidays at Frescobaldi's Il Giardinello hosting many contemporary artists, actors, musicians and writers.
A FAMILY TALE
Lionel and Ornella bought Centine in 1994. That land - located south-west of Montalcino, close to the medieval town of Camigliano - had been left uncoltivated for more than 40 years. The soil they found was extremely pure, never touched by chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides or any other form of industrial agriculture.
Thus, in 1997, Ornella and Lionel chose to plant 3.4 hectares of vineyard around the hill, facing south, certified organic since the beginning: 2.4 hectares of Sangiovese for Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, 0.6 Cabernet Sauvignon and 0.4 Merlot. Carlo Ferrini helped us to select the land for the vines and the vine-stocks, the growth system and the height of the plants. François Bouchet initiated us to biodynamic, the simple and efficient biodynamic of the old gentleman farmer he was. In 2013 we planted three more hectares of vineyard: Sangiovese (2ha), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.
The estate is 30 km far from the Mediterranean sea, taking advantage of temperate climate and sea breezes, dominating the valley and the Ombrone flowing under the hill. The terroir, made of sandy clay with large substructure of cobble stones, is quite unique in Montalcino. The bed of the Ombrone, as a matter of fact, used to pass on that land, but then the tectonic shift activated by the Mount Amiata, an ancient volcano left of the land, made the hill come up, so the river went down the valley leaving all the sediments behind.
Cupano first vintage was the 2000. Since the beginning, we intended to produce wines for aging, in a true French style, seeking for evolution, elegance and complexity. Lionel was born in Cognac but educated to wine in Burgundy, where he was introduced by Jacky Rigaux among the acolytes of Henri Jayer, whose winemaking philosophy was taken as a reference: limited hectares, meticulous care of the vines, indigenous yeasts, aging on the fine lees in barriques bourguignonnes, no filtration, no clarification.