Guado al Melo, a family-owned winery directed by Annalisa and Michele Scienza, is committed to the goal of producing great terroir wines, following a philosophy based on artisanality and sustainability. We are located in the Bolgheri DOC zone, in the Tuscan hills that face the Tyrrhenian Sea, immersed in a pristine natural landscape characterised by Mediterranean scrubland.
The heart of our winery, completely underground and constructed in accord with ecological principles, is a Wine Library, which boasts several thousands of books about wine. Around it, in the vineyard and in the cellar, we have created a museum itinerary that tells the history and culture of the territory and of this product, through historical vineyards, books and ancient work tools, stories explained with panels and videos.
THE VINEYARD: THE FOUNDATION
OF A GREAT WINE
Our intent is to make a terroir wine, a wine that truly expresses its growing area, that means showcasing and heightening, through painstaking efforts, the utterly unique characteristics of our local terroir, which then become eloquently expressed in wines of great complexity and elegance.
The largest section of our vineyards lies on the first band of the Bolgheri hillslopes, in a small east-west valley set into the hills, traversed by the Fossa di Bolgheri stream. A second parcel is located a bit to the west, along the same stream. The two together total some 15 hectares.
The vineyards are surrounded by woods and scrub classic to the Mediterranean and by olive groves. The vine-rows are cover-cropped naturally, and tended meticulously and conscientiously, in the best winegrowing tradition and in accord with the holistic principles and low-impact viticulture. Our grape varieties are those of the local tradition, predominantly Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Merlot, as well as numerous minor varieties.
THE WINECELLAR: WINEMAKING, CULTURE, AND BIO-ARCHITECTURE.
For millennia wine cellars have always been made underground for a simple reason: to create, in a natural way, the best space to store wine (fresh and a little humid). Today this choice allows us not to waste energy resources in vain.
Therefor our winery is not an alien burden on the landscape but an integral part of its surrounding area. The cellar is completely underground, hidden beneath a low hill covered by olive trees and by flora of the Mediterranean scrub environment. A system of rainwater capture and re-use results in considerable water-savings. Custom-designed light wells enable natural lighting of labour-intensive areas.
While the exterior thus disappears from view, the cellar’s interior surprises with its elegant simplicity and harmoniously-designed work spaces and hospitality areas, and the museum path dedicated to the history and culture of the grapevine and wine. The focus of all these elements is the spacious Biblioteca del Vino. Throughout the year, we also host cultural activities, such as seminars, concerts, art exhibits, and book presentations, …
Our winecellar is open to welcome guests who would like to become familiar with what artisanal winegrowers do and to learn about the culture of wine over the millennia. They may enjoy various resources: guided tours (by reservation only), opening for tastings, purchase and museum visit.
In SPRING (from Easter or from First April through mid-June) and FALL (from mid-September through 31 October): Monday-Saturday, 10.00am-1.00pm 3.00-6.00pm.
In SUMMER (from mid-June through mid-September): Monday-Saturday morning, 10.00am-1.00pm 4.00-8.00pm.
The rest of the year: on office hours, Monday-Friday, 8.30am-12.30pm 1.30-5.30pm; (2.00-5.00pm on Friday). Saturday only by reservation.
Wine tours for groups, by reservation: every day, all year around.
For any questions or reservation, please contact us in office hours by e-mail or phone:+39 0565/763238 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Being a winegrower today inescapably involves one in profound reflection on the dualism between technology and nature. Wine depends significantly on human expertise and on the person who makes it (in our case, Michele Scienza). At the same time, it loses much of its soul if it is seen solely as a product of a technological transformation. It is our conviction, in fact, that the value of a great wine consists in its reflection of characteristics that are unique to its terroir and to the growing season that produces it, both of which shape its innermost essence. For us, then, producing a terroir wine means seeking that delicate equilibrium between our own work and our relationship with the uncompromised naturalness of the earth and the vine. It is the striving to understand the finest expression of our vineyard and to manage, with great sensitivity and attention, its transformation into wine, without altering its soul. For us, this reflection cannot be separated from respect for the earth; one must continuoiusly, and increasingly, balance production of high-quality wine with deep respect for the environment and for the healthfulness of the wine. It is sustainability that is the guiding concept of our work: working in the best fashion possible today but always in a way that will preserve natural resources for future generations. We make this possible by utilising the best production practices currently available, fruit of tradition and of the most successful innovations, practices that we adopt because they yield grapes and wine of high quality and with the lowest possible impact on the environment.
Michele’s goal is to craft wines that are terroir-expressive, personal, and distinctive. Our wines are elegant, pleasurable, and well-balanced, their production achieved with artisanal meticulousness.
The heart of our wine portfolio is represented by the great red wines of Bolgheri: Bolgheri Superiore (Atis) embodies the best our vineyards have to offer, a perfect balance between elegance and forcefulness. The Bolgheri Rosso category is represented by two styles: Antillo, mainly with Sangiovese represents the most ancient soul of the territory, while Rute, a classic blend of Bolgheri the most contemporary one. Certainly worthy of note, however are the two “outliers,” unique and unusual wines made from a field blend from small vineyards in very limited quantities, like Jassarte (a unique red, absolute expression of the territory), and Criseo Bolgheri DOC Bianco (a great white wine for aging).
And, finally, our wines to enjoy on a daily basis, Bacco in Toscana and the white L’Airone (Vermentino).
The differences between one vintage and another are fundamental to the uniqueness of a wine. Nonetheless, we are not total playthings of the weather; the successive conditions of the growing season can instruct the winegrower on how best to carry out his activities in that particular year in order to coax out the finest qualities from the vines. Worth noting is that in our growing area, thanks to our very favourable Medieterranean weather and the tempering effects of the nearby sea, the growing seasons are in general quite consistent and difficult years are few.
Vintage with climatic contrasts but in general very good. After a rainy winter, spring started hot and dry, then changed into a rainy May with low temperatures and a delay for all following stages of the vines. The summer had peaks of great heat, but without humidity. The harvest began in mid-September and ended in early October, always in good weather. The grapes were balanced, with low pH and good acidity, sweet tannins, complex aromas. We returned to an optimal production quantity after a very poor 2017 and the partial recovery of 2018.
A very regular and fresh vintage. The spring was very rainy, recovering the intense dryness of the last year. The summer was instead as usual, warm and dry, with some brief refreshing rain. The ripening of the grapes was very regular and longer than usual. In the second half of September a noticeable decrease of temperature, with dry and windy weather, will contribute to a vintage of great elegance.
The vintage was especially marked by the great dryness, with summer temperatures above the average, but returned fresher in August during the ripening. The dry climate has inhibited the development of diseases but also the growth and production of vines. Grape harvest was not started very early. We began the last days of August and ended by the end of September. We produced healthy grapes and very concentrated, with good acidity levels , selected to avoid the dried bunches. 2017 especially was the vintage with the lowest amount of production.
Still a high level vintage. The winter was very dry and mild, in springtime very rainy. At the moment of blossoming the climate was still very cool, causing a delay of the development. It followed a very hot and dry summer, mitigated by a brief rain. The harvest began on September 12th and ended in the first week of October, speeding up the work in the last week to finish before the weather started to get worse (as it happened). Also this year the work in the vineyard has been characterized by the management of the vintage power.