The two plots together cover 16 hectares of vineyards, theoretically enough to produce up to 60,000 bottles annually. However, the focus on quality is so exceptional that the yield is kept extremely low, resulting in only between 6,000 and 15,000 bottles produced annually, depending on the vintage's potential.
Gianfranco was not afraid to think differently. He introduced groundbreaking techniques in winemaking that set new standards for quality and taste. This pioneering spirit and pursuit of perfection were crucial to the growing recognition of Soldera's Brunello, and it continued for decades.
However, the label Brunello no longer adorns the bottle, as Soldera, after disagreements, decided to separate from the consortium. A groundbreaking, bold, and provocative decision, manifested by writing 100% Sangiovese on the bottles instead of Brunello di Montalcino.
In December 2012, Soldera Case Basse unfortunately fell victim to severe sabotage when a disgruntled employee broke into the wine cellar and opened the taps to ten large barrels, letting more than 60,000 liters of Brunello drain out. The scandal ended with a four-year prison sentence for the perpetrator and a significant financial loss for Soldera. This incident was a tragedy that resulted in the loss of six vintages and changed Soldera's history forever.
The Magic of Terroir
A key factor in Soldera's success is respect for terroir. Carefully selected plots, thorough fieldwork, and a favorable microclimate are crucial to creating high-quality grapes that give the wines their unique character. The mineral-rich subsoil imparts a magical infusion of minerals to the vines, which the grapes then absorb beautifully.
At Soldera, grapes are not just an ingredient; they are the heart of the entire process. Each grape is cultivated and hand-harvested with exceptional care and attention to detail. Meanwhile, Gianfranco adopts a classic approach to vinification and a clear conviction about how the best wines are created. For example, the use of concrete is not allowed because he believes cement is not good for the wine.
Gianfranco Soldera personally checks the quality of the grapes throughout the production process, first in the vineyards and later in the winery. At Case Basse, fermentation only occurs in wood—a natural process with no added yeast in production.
The natural production process means that the color of Soldera Case Basse is more transparent in the glass, differing from the darker wines often created by barriques and additives in more modern Brunellos. According to Gianfranco, Soldera Case Basse is the purest and most accurate interpretation of both the essence of the Sangiovese grape, Brunello, and the surrounding terroir. This ensures that Soldera Case Basse can evolve over decades—in the best vintages, for more than 40 years.