Máté is a family-owned, organically farmed estate in the prestigious, temperate Santa Restituta zone of Montalcino, also home to the vineyards of Angelo Gaja and Gianfranco Soldera. Within the Máté’s 75 acres of natural forest and wild fruit, the family planted 15 acres of vineyards in extremely varied terroir between 1,000 and 1,300 feet above sea level. Varieties and clones were specifically chosen for these various expositions, elevations and soils, and planted at twice the normal density: Sangiovese in fossil-filled tuffo, Merlot in sandy clay, Cabernet Sauvignon in galestro and Syrah on mineral-rich, southern terraces. The selected hand-picked grapes are fermented in small temperature-controlled stainless steel and wood vats; the must is punched down and pumped over. The wines are then aged for up to three years in barriques, tonneaux and 40hl vats of Allier French oak.
Writer Ferenc Máté, and his wife Candace, a painter, left New York in 1990 for the Tuscan countryside. They restored an ancient, abandoned friary before planting their vineyards between 1997 and 1999. Being perfectionists, the Mátés performed a “museum quality” restoration of the friary, then hired Gaja’s agronomist, Fabrizio Moltard to design the vineyards and France’s Pierre Guillaume to choose the best varieties and clones. They still consult with Gaja’s General Manager, with Ferenc overseeing the vineyards while Peter, their son, and Candace are responsible for the winemaking. Their Tuscan experiences are humorously written about in Ferenc’s A Vineyard in Tuscany. Translated into 14 languages, it has sold over a million copies worldwide. All labels are Candace’s artwork.
Farming/vinification practices: Certified Organic since the 2016 vintage. The wines are never chaptalized nor fined. They are vegan. Total production 2,000 to 2,500 cases.