Il Cellese
 

Who is Sergio

 

Wine, like works of art, as "living matter" takes on the form and characteristics of those who shape it.
 

Sergio Sardelli, since he was a teenager, has shown great interest in the family business located in Castellina, Chianti, in the heart of Chianti Classico, and with great tenacity has committed from a very young age to produce his wine modeled according to his strong personality.

Sergio, the second of three brothers, was born in Tuscany in 1978 and immediately moved to Spain with his family, to the beautiful town of Seville where his parents had already lived for several years, always maintaining a strong bond with their homeland. As a matter of fact Sergio, at the age of twenty, was attracted by Chianti and moved permanently to Italy starting to take care of the family business: “Villa Rosa “well known for the quality of its products.

The latter was run by his maternal aunt, Mrs. Lella, a strong and far-sighted woman, one of the first producers of Chianti, with whom Sergio, although very young, had a great understanding and shared the same passion for the world of wine.

Unfortunately, Lella became ill very young and was unable to share this fascinating job with Sergio.

After an initial period in the company alongside his uncles and cousins, in 2001 Sergio decided to separate and continue on his own this adventure in the production of Classic Chianti on the estate “Il Cellese" which was formerly part of Villa Rosa. He realised that his goals were not the same as those of his family but was determined to carry on his dream: to invest as much as possible in technology and innovation to achieve high quality, always monitoring the constant evolution of the world that surrounds us and in which he wants the image of his company to stand out.

 

 

The vineyards of “Il Cellese" are located approximately 500 m above sea level on medium mixture soil rich in skeleton, mainly schist, and in areas with a greater presence of clays where the organic substance is minimal. The high altitude and location of the vineyards brings much ventilation in all the summer months which is excellent for the good health of the grapes. Most of the vineyards are exposed to the south, favouring phenolic maturation of the skins.

The extreme territorial characteristics result in slight suffering of the plants in July and August in order to constantly obtain minimum productions per hectare of around 40 quintals of grapes thus producing a highly concentrated raw material. The slow and gradual maturation (never over-maturation) due to the pedoclimatic characteristics leads to harvests at the end of October with grapes of excellence with good acidity tenors that produce visionary wines.

Aware of the great terroir, from 2001 to 2006 Sergio devoted himself to the reclamation of vineyards and renovation of the properties which are located within the estate, obtaining seven flats for agritourism use with swimming pool and restaurant. During this period the company sold its grapes to the main local producers.

Then he began to make wine as a part of a cooperation, but Sergio continued to work hard for his goal: producing a wine which represents the excellence of the territory.

Always looking for the right environment to accommodate and transform his grapes, almost by chance, thanks to his curiosity, in 2013 he discovered the winery of Maltraverso, located in the basement of the homonymous villa, dating back to the eighteenth century, where he now produces and refines the wines of “Il Cellese”.

Located at a short distance from the motorway that connects Florence and Siena, it is easily accessible by anyone who discovers the heart of Tuscany. A place with a magical and ancient flavor, consisting of three tunnels dug into the tuff, which maintains constant both temperature and humidity, which represent, in addition to wonderful scenery, also the place with perfect characteristics for the aging and refining of wine. The tunnels were abandoned after World War II when they were used as shelters from the massive bombardments of the area. They are located at a depth ranging from 3 to 20 metres below ground level.

They have been reclaimed from the roots of the plants above and from the sediments deposited in decades of neglect and restored to their former glory, keeping the original terracotta floors and structures.

During that period Sergio began working with a number of collaborators who joined his venture and knew the Tuscany enologist Niccolai Mirko with whom he shared the challenge to create great Classic Chianti from very long aging, characteristic of those vineyards and using the extraordinary maturity of the grapes. Winemaking with simplicity and cleanliness, dedicating energy to the search for the perfect maturation of grapes and the aging of wines.

Thus, in the tunnels, the winery and the winemaking process took shape:

 

In the first tunnel, used to receive fresh grapes, hand-picked and coming directly from the soils of Il Cellese, in small boxes of 18 kg each, to preserve the integrity of the grapes, the grapes are fermented in steel temperature controlled vats.

In the deepest tunnel are the French oak barrels and barricos for the aging of the wines in wood. The youngest wines remain here for 9 months while the most valuable ones for three years.

Once bottled, our finest wines (Reserve and Grand Selection) remain for a period ranging from one to two years in the third tunnel, with a capacity of 22,000 bottles, dedicated to refinement in the bottle.

In 2018, the entrance area to the villa, which in the past centuries probably served as an atrium and probably an arrival point for carriages and horses, has been finely renovated, obtaining the tasting room and restaurant, the nerve point of the cellar which creates a continuum between the tunnel dedicated to production, the one for aging and the one that hosts refining.

A young and dynamic working group, consisting of the enologist Mirko Niccolai, the cellarman Daniele Rinaldi and the agronomist Federico Becarelli, has been operating with passion, side by side with Sergio for several years with common visions and goals.

After meetings and dialogue, they have been able to channel all their skills and experiences and put them to good use to achieve their goal: to produce wines of great quality,* related to the territory, opening up to technological innovations and aiming to present them on a global scale.