In this sense, over the years nothing has changed, and what began as an intuition has become a concrete reality that can be confirmed by those familiar with San Felice's true calling cards, the wines
that have set the pace for Chianti Classico for decades.
The Archetype Wines
The revolution in bottle began immediately, in 1968, with Vigorello. Granted that Sangiovese is a great varietal, it is its duty to reveal itself in purezza, removed from the stifling strictures of the Chianti
Classico Disciplinare of the time. Thus, the first great red of Chianti, a wine that, though modestly labeled table wine, had the character and structure sufficient to open the doors to a new conception of
the art of making wine. Ten years later, in 1978, another standard bearer for all of Chianti Classico was introduced, a cru called Poggio Rosso derived from the Poggio Rosso vineyard, ten hectares of Sangiovese and Colorino with the new vines propagated from vines already present at San Felice.
Even the "rustic" vines of Chianti can produce elegance!
So far, we have discussed the fruits of research on the varietals that have long distinguished Chianti Classico, the winners of a long-term selection process that saved some varietals while sacrificing others, whose names we may remember, though we know little else about them. However, in 1974 San Felice planted about fifteen presumed clones of traditional varietals in a slightly more than half hectare vineyard, an ante litteram experiment that expanded considerably in 1987 with the arrival of Professor Roberto Bandinelli of the University of Florence. The varietals increased to 270 (of which 161 are red) and the area of the vineyard, now known as the Vitiarium, a Latin word meaning a collection of grape vines, to more than two hectares. The Vitiarium can be considered a Tuscan ampelographic dictionary; it looks like a garden, but is an experimental vineyard planted to determine -- having collected and observed Tuscany's viticultural genetic heritage, what agronomists call the germplasm -- the true productive potential of the varietals of yore. Over the years thirty varietals have been selected for further study, and of these Pugnitello's personality stood out, as it is capable of giving great satisfaction vinified in purezza, and also does a fine job supporting Sangiovese.
Thus we come to 2003, the first vintage of Pugnitello. However, fifteen years ago San Felice also begun to devote attention to the so-called International varietals, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon,
which entered the blend of Vigorello in 1979, together with Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon