Ampeleia was established in 2002, the year in which Marco Tait, young and impulsive at the time, answered the call of the current owners, Elisabetta Foradori and Giovanni Podini, to take charge of the first harvest, without being fully aware of what he was getting involved in. Marco, fresh out of oenology and viticulture school, had been enchanted by the call of the Maremma and he and Elisabetta had known each other for a while.
However, Ampeleia had been conceived by three friends two years earlier, at an altitude of 2153 meters in the Comici mountain refuge in the Dolomites. It was during the winter of 2000 that Elisabetta, Giovanni and Thomas had the idea for creating Ampeleia. They wanted to farm in a place that was beautiful but out of the ordinary, away from the stereotypes around which the world of wine revolves.
For the following two years they traveled far and wide throughout Italy lin search of that ideal place, which they came across one spring day in Roccatederighi. An exhilarating discovery, a place to take your breath away, with vineyards and a terroir with incredible potential. This is it, Ampeleia will be born here. However, as we all know, saying is one thing, doing is another, and in this case the “doing” was hectares of land to be tilled, vines to be planted, grapes to be harvested.
They started straight away because the land cannot wait. Marco was persuaded by their dream at a stand at Vinitaly and traveled to the Upper Maremma, convinced he would only be there for a few weeks during the grape harvest but instead he began to put down roots in Roccatederighi.
With the impulsiveness and courage of his twenty years, he took over the management of the vineyards and cellar, starting with a few concrete tanks and the six hectares inherited from the former owner planted with different red grape varieties. His instinct led him immediately to focus on Cabernet Franc and he started to impulsively plant it, but without exaggerating, as Ampeleia’s goal has always been excellence.
These were years of discoveries, such as the decision to focus on biodynamics, or to find friends of Cabernet Franc, even better if they were local. This was the start of the return to the Mediterranean variety par excellence, the other native of the Upper Maremma, Alicante Nero.
Ampeleia, conceived in the mountains, like a rolling snowball has grown over the years. New vineyards, the arrival of animals and young people from different corners of Italy, to dream together with Marco.
Today Ampeleia covers over 120 hectares of land, 35 of which are vineyards. The rest is woodland, arable land and our olive grove. We also have a small vegetable garden and our animals have reared their families here.