The famous Bolgheri takes its name from the small village of Bolgheri, located near the Mediterranean, north of the Livorno province in the Castagneto Carducci commune along the coastal region of Tuscany in Italy.
Spread over 1,200 hectares, this small wine-growing area has terroirs of great diversity. There are alluvial soils covered with pebbles, volcanic rocks originating from the spectacular metalliferous hills of the Cecina River Basin to the valleys of the Pecora and Merse rivers, as well as sandy loam soils. The Bolgheri vineyard enjoys a microclimate offering an optimal combination of heat and rainfall to produce great wines, with an average annual temperature of 14°C and a precipitation level of 600mm. The cool sea breezes play a major role in moderating the hot temperatures in August and September, which allows the berries to ripen slowly and to ensure a balanced development of the sugars, polyphenols and aromas while maintaining a high level of acidity at the same time.
The Bolgheri vineyard is known for its legendary Sassicaia wine, which played a major role in bringing recognition to this Tuscan area and initiating the "Super Tuscan" wine revolution in the 1960s.
The story began in 1940 when Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta created a winery located between Livorno and Grosseto. Contrary to the local tradition of vinifying Nebbiolo and Sangiovese grapes, the Marquis planted grapes similar to those from Médoc, the famous Bordeaux grape varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) on its soils. He also included cuttings from Château Lafite. The mythical Sassicaia ("place of stones" in Italian) was then born.
Sassicaia was reserved for the family’s personal consumption for almost 20 years, but the first bottle of Sassicaia rapidly established itself as one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines in all over Italy when it was first marketed from 1969
Established in 1983, the Bolgheri DOC initially featured only white and rosé wines, so wine producers were forced to fall back on the table wine label. With the reputation of Cabernets Sauvignons gaining ground and attracting new investors, the Bolgheri DOC adopted its own production rules in 1994 to maintain the level of excellence of Tuscan wines. The appellation was then divided into three parts: Bolgheri Rosso, Bolgheri Superiore and Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC, the appellation reserved for the Sassicaia vineyards.
Today, the Bolgheri DOC appellation allows the production of white, rosé and red wines. According to the specifications of the appellation, red wines must be aged one year in oak barrels before they can be sold.