The thriving vineyard of Tenuta Prima Pietra unfurls along a winding woodland road above the hillside town of Riparbella as a stylish wooden gate and stone sign announce the discreet entranceway. With the sea in the distance and salinity in the air, cypress trees escort visitors down the reddish track to the brick-fronted farmhouse, while a lone pine tree stands sentry by the modern addition of a weathered steel and glass cube tasting room.
The first estate purchased by Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo in 2002, Tenuta Prima Pietra will reopen for the 2020 season on June 15 for winery tours, tastings and cooking classes. Self-styled as the highest vineyard along the Tuscan coast at 450 metres above sea level, the winery sits in a wild natural landscape surrounded by quintessential Mediterranean countryside and sublime views as far as the Tyrrhenian Sea, Elba and Capraia islands, and even Corsica on a clear day.
Tour of the winery
Step into the lovingly restored cellar door with its undulating ceiling, worn terracotta floors and neutral colour scheme as the contemporary open kitchen beckons for a cooking class with a local chef. Panzanella, fresh pasta and tiramisu are among the dishes taught on the course, which concentrates on making traditional recipes that Tuscans eat at home.
Before lunch on the terrace, a tour of the winery reveals the heart of the estate, from the volcanic quartz-lined soil in the south-southwest facing single vineyard that wraps itself around the farmhouse to the steel, concrete and cocciopesto clay tanks in the fermentation room, and the barrique cellar, where the wine rests and refines.
Tasting Prima Pietra
The green expanse of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot accompanies the shimmering sea view on the horizon as we taste the estate’s opulent Supertuscan wines: the dashing 2016, the characterful 2015, and the poised and personable 2014, while grazing on Tuscan cheeses, fresh bread and exquisite extra-virgin olive oil.
Ribarbella’s wineries work together to promote the area, which is why Tenuta Prima Pietra has designed special day-long tours to discover the flavors and wines of this unique and still unexplored corner of Tuscany.