Siblings Maria Iris and Claudio Tipa, who have always shared a love of nature and fine wines, have made their dream come true by creating a “Domaine” in Tuscany. Today's ColleMassari includes three estates: since 1998, Castello di ColleMassari; since 2002, Podere Grattamacco; and, since 2011, Fattoria Poggio di Sotto.
Castello ColleMassari was first made in 1998 and is part of the DOCG Montecucco winemaking zone in the Upper Maremma, among DOCGs of Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano, enjoying perfect conditions for growing Sangiovese. The first vintage was in 2000.
The Collemassari winery is situated in Cinigiano, near Poggi del Sasso. Designed by Edoardo Milesi, it is a work of conceptual wealth in which concepts like energy saving, sustainable building, quality work conditions and bioclimatic engineering led the design and painstaking choice of each individual component and material.
Particular attention is paid to the complexity of the surface texture, which typifies a building in which the outdoor spaces merge with the indoors as part of a complex functional relationship that is both active and passive, combining natural energy and human labour.
Grapes and wine are moved along a gravity-driven process without ever using electromechanical pumps. Beginning on the vast roof terrace, where the tractors unload the grape, the process drops down 13 metres to the underground barrel cellar, gradually opening up to the natural landscape. The winemaking process follows the force of gravity and the natural depths of the earth, while observing and relating to the outdoor landscape.
Bioclimatic solutions that govern temperature and ventilation undoubtedly played a part in characterising the project as a whole. Harnessing bioengineering was a natural choice at Collemassari, with a microclimate that is needed to make and store wine, from humidity to saving energy.
The core of the Collemassari winery project, architecture plays a dynamic role in solving issues in this place of work.
Not a drop of water is wasted in the entire process. Water, including the part used in the underground drainage of the barrel cellar (which is partly stored to ensure the right level of humidity), is recovered in full, used several times and is eventually wholly channelled to a single wastewater treatment system. It leaves the system in a purified form and enters a basin on the edge of a waterway. Here, it is used to irrigate the vineyards, while also forming an important wetland that is rich in fauna and flora.
The winery is air conditioned and heated using natural energy, which comes from the high heat inertia of the masonry and the ventilated walls and ceilings. Heat can be regulated by opening and closing the large chimneys that point and are positioned in strategic places, capable of guiding the humidified natural ventilation along the floors.
Insects are limited to certain areas based on the dynamics and “lifestyle” of the must fruit fly.
Mould and wood fungus in the barrel cellar is controlled by the use of coverings (which also act as soundproofing and light diffusion) in red cedarwood, a powerful natural fungicide).
The winery covers a surface area of 3,648 m2. The company produces 800,000 bottles/year.