• Michele Satta

Michele Satta

An important difference between Michele Satta and other big names like Ornellaia or Sassicaia is that the determined and very likeable wine producer in Bolgheri runs the oldest winery that belongs to a winemaker. Satta founded its winery in Castagneto Carducci at a time when grape growing in the Tuscan region was in its infancy and great successes were still to come. The path taken by the innovative winemaker was new in Bolgheri at the time. Thus he, supported by his wife Lucy from the very beginning in his decisions, not only focused on the international varieties Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah, but also on the noble Sangiovese vine.

In 1974, Michele Satta arrived in Bolgheri, a coastal town in Tuscany, to learn all that he could about the intricacies of growing grapes and making wine. In 1982, he started his own winery, which was one of the first in Bolgheri, just two years before the DOC was established. He was a pioneer in cultivating Syrah, Teroldego, and Viognier to the region as well as vinifying Sangiovese as single varietal wines. Michele is a well-known, respected and regarded as the local expert in the terroir of Bolgheri. Along with running his estate, Michele had consulted for renowned properties such as Ornellaia, where he planted many of their vineyards including Masseto. In 2015, the estate started farming biodynamically and received their organic certification beginning with the 2018 vintage. His property encompasses 23 hectares under vine with an annual output of 150,000 bottles. In 2015, son Giacomo signed on as winemaker of the estate after graduating from University of Milano.

Satta’s not afraid to experiment with grapes and blends that are uncommon in this part of Tuscany, and for the most part he seems to make wines to please himself before pleasing the market. He’s proud to say he forced the Bolgheri DOC Consortium, of which he is one of the founding members, to include the native Tuscan Sangiovese grape in the discipline, despite it making up only 2% of the grapes planted here (and probably most of those are his).

Check out this excellent Wine Spectator feature article on Michele Satta: https://www.winespectator.com/articles/bolgheri-wine-outsider-michele-satta-camuto