Empson USA Terrabianca

Fact Sheet

[TER-rah-BEE-an-KAH]

Location: Radda in Chianti, Province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Founded in 1988 Terrabianca is owned by Roberto Guldener and his wife, Maja. Terrabianca stretches across two properties, on in Chianti Classico and one in Maremma. Combined the winery has a total of 569 acres under vine.

Points of Differentiation

  • The first documents referencing “Podere Terrabianca” dates back to 1223
  • All the grapes are transferred to the winery the same day of picking
  • The soil is slightly acidic, ideal for grape vines
  • The soils are composed of sand and clay loam which promote proper root development and penetration
  • The vineyards encompass 15 clones of Sangiovese, 12 of Cabernet, 9 of Merlot and one clone of Canaiolo

The History

The first document testifying the existence of a rural property called Terra Bianca, meaning “white soil” due to the light-colored soil, is dated 1223. The Terrabianca we all know, however, began nearly a thousand years later, in 1988.

In the late 1980’s and early 90’s, the vineyards were overhauled. The vines, which had been last planted in the 1950’s and 60’s, were planted for quantity, not quality. The change reflected the change in thinking in Italian viniculture at the end of the 20th century. The new planting system focuses on planting with higher density and uses new select clones. As a result, the vineyards began producing higher-quality grapes suited for Terrabianca’s wines.

The property covers 307 acres of vineyards, olive groves, and woodland. The second estate with an additional 260 acres was added in recent years, 43 miles away and close to Massa Marittima, in Maremma. The second property is called Il Tesoro, or “Treasure.”

Shortly after its modern-day foundation, Terrabianca became a major Tuscan star and the wines have reaped countless accolades worldwide – both for their quality and the stunning design of the labels and bottles.

In 2009 Roberto and his wife, Maja, sold Terrabianca with plans to retire. However, in Roberto’s own words, “Wine is a lifestyle, a creation which needs to match life; this is what makes it so fascinating.” In 2017, when the chance to buy back their winery arose Roberto and Maja wasted no time seizing the opportunity. Now, firmly back at the helm Roberto is happily looking to the future and a life dedicate to wine.

The Terroir

The original Terrabianca property is located at the heart of the Chianti Classico region, in the middle of Tuscany, 12 km from Siena and 50 km from Florence. The soil which consists of layers of chalk, sand, and clay from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic ages has the ideal composition to grow grapes of the highest quality.

Here Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Trebbiano Toscano vines are planted with a south/southeast exposure.

The Il Tesoro estate, 262 acres, is situated in Massa Marittima. The soil in this area is renowned for its fertility which is enriched with minerals, that allows - in combination with the Mediterranean climate - high-quality grapes to grow here.

The Il Tesoro estate grows Sangiovese as well as produces extraordinary Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.