Wine and Terracotta

Wine amphorae in Terracotta at Artenova in Impruneta
Wine amphorae in Terracotta at Artenova in Impruneta

The use of terracotta amphorae in wine making is coming back in Chianti as well as in other parts of the world. Most of them are hand produced in a workshop in Impruneta in Chianti, in Tuscany!

The word “terracotta” literally means “cooked earth”. It designates products obtained by the drying and baking of previously molded clay. Already the ancient Greeks were using clay jars, amphorae, for storing and transporting wine as well as olive oil.

Impruneta, in the Chianti region, has been famous for its “terracotta” since the 15th century, when Filippo Brunelleschi started to use molded reliefs to embellish his buildings, and when sculptors such as Ghiberti, Donatello, or Lucca and Andrea Della Robbia started to use terracotta, much easier to work than marble. The art of terracotta has been passed down across the centuries up to the present days, and you will certainly admire the terracotta works and pots that are still decorating the Villas and gardens in Tuscany.

Terracotta pots around the dinner terrace at Villa le Barone
Terracotta pots around the dinner terrace at Villa le Barone

Today, the art of terracotta is also used to produce amphorae for the fermentation, maturation and storage of wines. Making wine in those amphorae is presenting a lot of advantages: terracotta has a great thermal insulation capacity, it has no scent of its own and therefore keeps the original flavor of the wine, the wine is not in contact with oxygen, allowing the amphorae to be safely used for storage without oxidization.

Artenova, in its Impruneta’s workshop, is now producing and selling in all parts of the world handmade amphorae crafted in the traditional way but at the same time designed for professional use . Each jar is done entirely by hand, the result of a craftsmanship that has been passed down for centuries.
If you come to Villa le Barone, you will be able to admire beautiful terracotta handicrafts, you also will have the possibility to visit wineries using terracotta amphorae, and you will be able to drink exquisite wines of Chianti Classico.

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