When you first think of the wines of Chianti Classico, a chipper 29-year-old Canadian woman may not come to mind. This is just one of many surprises you will encounter in Chianti. Innovative winemakers like Paula Papini Cook should definitely be on your radar. Director/videographer J. Michael Reilly was recently invited to get to know the wines of Chianti Classico by the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico and was seriously impressed by Paula and her wines. Check out the video interview with Chianti Classico Winemaker Paula Papini Cook for a glimpse into Le Miccine.
***If you want to learn more about what makes a Chianti a “Classico”, click here.
Le Miccine is a beautiful vineyard situated between Radda and Gaiole in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, and is surely a rising star among the region’s wines. Le Miccine’s proprietor, Canadian-born Paula Papini Cook, has been making wine from the vineyards of Chianti Classico at Le Miccine for the past five years. Taking over “very worked”land, Paula’s philosophy over the past five years has changed from a more conventional winemaking approach to one much more organic. “I’m here every day going through the vineyards, tasting the grapes, my family is coming, guests, kids are running around in the vineyards touching everything. I want this to be a safer environment,” says Paula, who is focusing on the biodiversity of the land and on being less invasive in the environment.
“The vine knows best. Basically, we are trying to slowly remove ourselves from the system – trying to take a step back and let the vine come to its own natural balance”
Le Miccine winery is located in the hills of Chianti in an estate that has been around for centuries. Weary travelers would stop by with their donkeys for some well-deserved rest. The winery is named after the female donkeys that often graced the property. There are 7 hectares of grape growing land around the property that are planted with six clones of Sangiovese, as well as Malvasia Nera, Merlot and Colorino. At Le Miccine winery, Paula also plays with a bit of Vermentino to make crisp, refreshing white wine.
At Le Miccine, Paula follows organic viticultural practices in order to increase biodiversity and allow the vines to maximize their natural defenses against pathogens. The whole idea is to create a balance with nature and optimize the quality of the grapes.
Paula’s love of the grape began when at 16 years old, her parents took her to Italy. She visited Seravezza (where her grandmother was from) and from that moment she immersed herself in the culture of Italy. She learned Italian and began her studies in agriculture. It was her father who suggested she look into winemaking in order to unite her avocation with her vocation. This led to a Master’s program in Viticulture and Oenology in France, Italy and Spain; and an internship with Patrick Leon in Bordeaux.
She secured financing (no easy task) and by 24 years old she (along with her parents) was the owner of her own vineyard. Currently, Paula’s wines are sold internationally and have even received the Tre Bicchiere score in Gambero Rosso.
Le Miccine is located at LocalitÃ Le Miccine, 44, SP2, 53013 Gaiole In Chianti Siena, Italy.[mappress mapid=”189″]
**Photo & Video credit J. Michael Reilly