Pakravan-Papi vineyards and winery is located in Tuscany, in the northern Maremma region, in the town of Riparbella, district of Pisa.
Starting from the year 2000, Amineh Pakravan and her husband Enzo Papi decided to revitalise the ancient wine making tradition of the region and boost it with the help of new technologies. The first step was the establishment of a new vineyard and a new cellar.
Our region, traditional home of vineyards and wine makers, has the ideal characteristics for wine production:
- Mediterranean micro climate, with plenty of sunshine and sea breeze
- A diverse and complex soil structure rich in mineral components.
- Sunny rolling hills
Grape varieties of Tuscany
Innovation from the tradition
“Sangiovese piccolo” clones, grown on our soil of “argilla a palombini” (clay mixed with Alberese limestone), were taken from the old trellis traditionally planted at the boundaries of olive groves. Sangiovese piccolo used to be the king of the vineyards of Chianti, possibly brought in by the early farmers to live in the region from the end of the 18th century. Today, Sangiovese piccolo has lost most of its presence to “Sangiovese grosso”, originally from Montalcino, featuring characteristic sapidity and balance. Despite that, we preferred to honour the traditional history of this place, keep the Sangiovese piccolo, and enhance its elegance and the complexity of its aroma. Due to our micro climate, the Pakravan-Papi Sangiovese develops a remarkable structure that adds to its sapidity and favours longer ageing times.
The Bordelaise vocation
The establishment of the Bordelaise varieties was an easy choice, supported by the success of these varieties in nearby Bolgherese. Cabernet and Merlot vines were planted on south-facing soil, created by the slow disintegration of the mineral-rich volcanic rocks, which allows for but a limited production. As a result, the structure and aroma of our wine took up a markedly Mediterranean flavour, which makes it unmistakably distinct from the famous production of our neighbours in Bolgherese.
The bet on the whites
Burgundy, Alsace and Tuscany
Growing white varieties under the Tuscany sun was the real challenge. We selected the right locations, with clay and calcium-rich soils and facing north where the sun is less burning, to establish the Chardonnay vineyards. A small parcel of land at the boundaries of the Cecina Valley happened to have marine soil, composed of clay and rich in fossil shells. That reminded us of the Alsatian clay and we decided to establish a Riesling vineyard there. Finally, we invested on bringing back the Malvasia of Tuscany, a variety used in the past to blend in small quantities with Chianti and increase its aroma. Malvasia was seldom produced as a standalone wine, but if the vineyard is established in slopes protected from the burning sun, and it is harvested at the beginning of its maturity cycle, Malvasia can feature delicate aroma and good acidity.
The Pakravan-Papi estate is located on the first hills that bound northern Maremma, a place where the marine climate balances the cool winds from nearby Padana Valley which make it through the Appennini mountains. The landscape is dominated by the Mediterranean bush, pristine in many cases, with oak and holm oak trees, and an undergrowth of aromatic shrubs such as juniper, stops and strawberry tree. Since the Etruscan time, vineyards have been a natural part of this region, but only from the Sixties discovered its “Bordelaise vocation” with the first Cabernet being planted in Bolgherese.
The influence of marine climate and breeze is significant in our vineyards. Pakravan-Papi estate features two main soil types:
- In the northern valley, soil is mainly clay of ancient lake origin, mixed with “palombini” (Alberese limestone). Here Sangiovese is grown.
- In the central part of the estate, the soil has volcanic origin. Here we have the Bordelaise vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
The cellar building reminds the old churches of Tuscany farmlands. Grapes from each vineyard are harvested and fermented separately, even when from the same variety. It is then blended at a later stage, after refinement in barrique, to develop the best vintage quality.
Harvesting is completely manual. Wine making is assisted by modern technology, but fully in line with traditional processes.
Vineyard and wine making
We carefully considered adopting protocols of certification of organic production but decided that they do not guarantee improvement for the environment and for the quality and integrity of the wines. Organic protocol regulations do not in fact exclude adjustments to be made during winemaking and refinement, which may have a negative impact on the wine authenticity.
Energy and the environment
Pakravan-Papi estate is fully sustainable. Besides using solar panels, heating during winter is accomplished by a wood boiler fueled by the prunings of more than 90,000 grapevines.