Location: Banditella di Alberese, Province of Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy.
Poggio Argentiera is young. So are proprietors Gianpaolo Paglia and Justine Keeling-Paglia, respectively a Maremma born agronomist with a doctorate in plant genetics, and an English marketing manager. Yet, the few years since the estate's foundation have sufficed to establish this as "a true benchmark for Maremma wines," scoring above 90 points in Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator, Three Glasses from Gambero Rosso, Vini dell'Eccellenza from Espresso magazine (the Italian equivalent to Time or Newsweek) and others.
Poggio Argentiera vineyards are located in various districts of Maremma, and belong to two distinct properties. In 1997, the Paglias purchased, Podere Adua, situated close to the coastline and to the Natural Park of Maremma (Tuscany's first natural reserve, founded in 1975). The Adua "podere" ("farm") goes back to the 1920s and is comprised of 15 acres of very old vines with wonderful potential. Here the Paglias soon added new, densely planted vineyards and a state-of-the-art winery that is the heart and headquarters of the entire operation. The second property, Podere Keeling, is hilly, at a higher-altitude terroir north of Scansano and close to Mount Amiata.
These two facets of Maremma are extremely different in soil type and climate: Podere Adua's is very free-draining, sandy-limy soil with little fibrous matter and high, Mediterranean temperatures with scarce rainfall during the growing season. Podere Keeling is some 12 miles from the original range. Its vineyards were freshly planted by the Paglias, on clayey, deep ochre soil, rich in structure and very stony, with a much cooler climate, for this second farmhouse is further from the coast, hillier and at a higher altitude, 492-820 feet above sea level. Together, Podere Adua and Podere Keeling express multiple aspects of Maremma and supply complementary traits that are ideally orchestrated in the Poggio Argentiera range. The two properties cover a total of 163 acres, 57 acres of which under vine.
Gianpaolo and Justine's most recent acquisitions fall into the area of Scansano, 7.4 acres, and Capalbio, 10-12 acres. These are now used for Vermentino and Ansonica production, the varieties that go into Guazza. More new vineyards are located in the higher Maremma area, 1,150-1,640 feet a.s.l., further from the coast and close to the towns of Manciano, Pitigliano and Sovana. These are part of a joint venture with Antonio Camillo. Antonio who was born and raised in the area has been researching local native grapes and old vineyards for the past 16 years, and has been the Paglias' winery manager since 2001. The entire vinification, bottling and aging process is carried out at Podere Adua (including the Antonio Camillo line), and the range is styled by the Paglias with consultant enologist Fabrizio Moltard.
In 2009 the Poggio Argentiera properties began the process of gradually converting to organic cultivation. 2009 was also the watershed year for the Paglias, which is reflected in the mold-breaking Capatosta 2009, whose style has veered from muscley concentration to graceful elegance and balance. Likewise, Poggio Argentiera's philosophy has changed to embrace greater restraint, larger oak casks and a lighter touch throughout the range.