GIANCARLO TOMMASI – OWNER AND ENOLOGIST TOMMASI FAMILY ESTATES
What do a professional vocation for wine and a great passion for fishing have in common? Probably, a relationship with time: the awareness that excellent results and profound satisfaction are obtained by being able to manage wisely the passing of time. This is a principle that Giancarlo Tommasi – born in 1974 and since 2002 the winemaker responsible for his family’s estates – knows well.
Giancarlo is married to Francesca and is the father of Lodovica and Elia, a lover of various sports and – what is fundamental – a patient angler. Constancy, sensitivity and tenaciousness: these are the qualities that Giancarlo applies in the winery exactly as he does on the bank of a river.
Great attention to every aspect of the production process sums up Giancarlo Tommasi’s philosophy and working method: from studying the soils and expositions of the vineyards to selecting the best planting system based on the characteristics of the site and the type of wine to be made there.
Ever since joining the company he has promoted the use of green options both in treating the vines (for fertilizing, thinning the bunches, pruning, mowing and irrigation) and during the harvest, for example favoring manual grape selection and harvesting at night. The same goes for vinification, where he prefers to limit mechanical intervention, endorsing instead (whenever possible) more natural operations.
For aging, he prefers large Slavonian oak casks, which give the wine a greater possibility to evolve. This choice is part and parcel of Giancarlo’s “philosophy of time”, because these barrels respect the wine. They do not “force” it, allowing the product to mature in the calmest way possible.
Giancarlo has often had occasion to underline the principles of his philosophy: “A strong sense of belonging to my area of origin drives me to highlight the viti-vinicultural heritage of each individual production area, with choices that focus on the terroir and on vinification. I have total respect for tradition, but I believe it has to be enhanced, in modern wines that appeal to consumers’ tastes”.
> Is there a “Tommasi style” of winemaking and, if so, how would you define it?
The Tommasi style that is common to all the wines we produce in five different Regions – the Veneto, Lombardy, Tuscany, Basilicata and Puglia – can be recognized by the fact that our wines aim for a type of quality based on elegance, rather than power. They are wines of character but are also immediately appealing; they are convivial wines, ideal for drinking with meals and with one’s family and friends. This attractive style is combined with the goal of obtaining wines that are long-lived and capable of aging well, which evolve and gradually reveal their complexity. Naturally, the elegance that is the hallmark of the Tommasi style always derives from highlighting the quality of the individual terroirs and their natural and cultural identities.
> What prompted you to invest in the Casisano Estate?
When we selected Casisano estate in 2015, preferring it to two other options, what convinced us was tasting the wine, which demonstrated great potential. And we worked very hard, as we always do, to prepare and take painstaking care of our vineyards.ù
> In recent years, have you made any changes in the way you cultivate Sangiovese Grosso, and what are they?
We haven’t made any changes in the last few years except for the long and painstaking task of reorganizing the vineyards, because when we bought the property they were often in considerable need of being replanted and cleaned up.
There is a plot of around 3 hectares that we had to replant a year ago with Sangiovese Grosso, in which we decided to test a Guyot training system, as opposed to the traditional cordon spur. We’ll see in the next few years how this type of vine training behaves, and then decide whether me might convert to it in future.
> How is your 2015 Brunello different compared to the other wines on offer in the marketplace?
The Casisano estate is in the most southeasterly of the three sub-zones for Brunello, where the Sangiovese Grosso grapes, thanks to the higher altitude, benefit from a cooler climate: they ripen more slowly and have good natural acidity.
These are the perfect conditions – together with the composition of the soil – for obtaining wines that are notable for their finesse.
> Upcoming initiatives linked with the 2015 Brunello?
This year we will concentrate on promoting a wine that is the result of five years of intense hard work. Our first appointment is the “Benvenuto Brunello” event in Montalcino. This will be followed by masterclasses in the United States and in Canada, for which we have been selected by the Brunello Consortium and where two meetings are planned for March.