Our Winemaker: Serena Gusmeri

Mastering the Terrior

Bringing Serena to Montefili

A Perfect Fit

Serena Gusmeri joined Montefili in the autumn of 2015. A young, intuitive winemaker with a profound sensitivity to the interpretation of old vines and the ambition to project Montefili into the future. Sharing Nicola, Frank and Tom’s belief that the role of a great winemaker is simply to shepherd nature, her critically acclaimed first vintage marked Montefili’s ascent – a phoenix rising in Chianti Classico. 

“The first time Serena and I walked through the vines and across the fields, we talked about how special Montefili was, and how we both wanted the earth to guide the wines we made. That afternoon, I knew she was exactly who we wanted.”

–Frank Bynum, Co-Founder

Meet Serena

In Her Own Words...

Nature has always been in my soul. I grew up in Brescia, at the foot of the Alps in Lombardy, with a vegetable plot and chickens in my backyard. When my parents went on holiday, I was in charge – living with nature and doing things with my own hands has always made me happy, and that sensibility directed me down the path to becoming a winemaker.
I went to Verona University and completed my masters degree in Milan, taking a trip to Australia to write my thesis. After graduation, I spent a year and half in Franciacorta making sparkling wines, and then six years down south in Campania, between Benevento and Ischia. 
These experiences taught me something vital: that no two vineyards can ever be the same. The wealth of autochthonous vines around Italy exist because of the ecosystem and environments in which they can best express themselves.

On Winemaking

From there, my methodology and experiences expanded. In Campania, I began to study the behavior of the plants and to enhance their aptitudes, paying minute attention to their state of health. I wanted grapes that were truly representative of each harvest, no rearrangement or correction. I developed a great sensitivity to the vines and their needs – a dedication that I carry forward in my work at Montefili.
My being at Vecchie Terre di Montefili came about as an opportunity born thanks to the first meeting with Nicola and then with Frank and Tom where, from different experiences, and shared desires, this project was born.
When Nicola first took me to Montefili, and I walked through the vineyards, I knew that this was the place where I wanted to be. The ground was stony beneath my feet, and these old and beautiful vines gave me an exhilarating feeling, a confirmation that truly blessed and unique places still exist

“Every single parcel of this land is a world in itself.”

–Serena Gusmeri, Winemaker

On Montefili

Right from the start, I immersed myself in Montefili, allowing myself to be permeated by the environment just as it was. I was respectful and unintrusive, first listening to the plants, and then choosing the path to follow. My goal was to express this incredible place, and not myself. 
Every single parcel of land is a world in itself, different exposure, soils rich in galestro, years of planting and types of breeding that all affect the characteristics of the grapes that are harvested and thus the wine obtained. Therefore, my choice to treat every single parcel as a single wine came naturally; each has its own needs and its own singular history to grasp and work alongside. We embarked upon a project to study the soil of each parcel, entrusting a scientific approach to discover its true potential.
In the winery, spontaneous fermentations and long aging in medium-large barrels are the key to perceiving Vecchie Terre di Montefili in every single bottle. When the fruit is this good, the role of the winemaker in the cantina is only to gently facilitate the journey from grapes to wine. From the Chianti Classicos and the Montefili Family of wines, to our Super Tuscans Anfiteatro and Bruno di Rocca: every bottle has a different story, and specific choices to allow every vintage to express itself.
–Serena Gusmeri, 2020

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