Greve in Chianti Tuscany
The story of this SuperTuscan began when its first vintage was entirely wiped out by wild boars – hence the name Cignale, which is Tuscan dialect for wild boar. Neil and Maria Empson, together with friends Alessandro Francois of Castello di Querceto and oenologist Franco Bernabei, planted the vines (mostly Cabernet with a little Merlot) in 1981 on three locations near Greve. Together, the sites covered 3 hectares of schist, clay, lime and sand at 425-500 meters above sea level. The soil here was abundant in nitrogen, a key element to the wines structure, and the yield is an uneconomic 0.4 tonne per hectare. Recently, an additional 1.5 hectares have been purchased so there will be more wild boars to come.