Greve in Chianti, Province of Firenze

Named after the wild boar of the region that both wiped out one of the first vintages and is a great match – as a ragu sauce with pasta – for this wine, Cignale is the project of Neil Empson and friend Alessandro François of Castello di Querceto.

  • Established

  • Owned by

    Neil & Maria Empson, Alessandro François
  • Winemaker(s)

    Alessandro François & Franco Bernabei Production: 10,000 bottles
  • Viticulture


In 1981, three hectares of vines were planted across three locations near Greve at 425-500 metres above sea level, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a small percentage of Merlot. The various soil types are abundant in nitrogen, a key element of structure and longevity, and yields are notoriously low – incredibly, less than half a tonne per hectare – conferring power, concentration and a long cellar life. The wine undergoes full malolactic and élevage in new and one-year-old French barrique for 18-24 months, before egg white fining (no filtration) and further bottle maturation, being released at three to four years from harvest. Cellar life is up to 20 years.


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