We stopped by Casa Emma for a tour of the winery, and as seems to be the custom everywhere we go- they immediately welcomed us, handed us a glass of wine, and started cooking.
This winery is in San Donato in Poggio, very close to Castellina. The elevation is about 420 meters above the sea, sprawling out over a beautiful hillside that is crested with a natural preserve. The sweeping exposure to sunlight, along with the oxygen-producing trees at the top of the incline, help make this vineyard a perfect little ecosystem for the grapes.
Casa Emma cultivates mostly Sangiovese, but also has some precious indigenous varietals as well. Their first Chianti Classico is made with 90% Sangiovese, 5% Cannaiolo and 5% Malvasia Nera. The Cannaiolo is relatively standard in these blends, but the Malvasia Nera is what helps really set this wine apart from other Chianti Classico expressions. There is a black fruit, plums and dried orange peel quality that the Malvasia Nera lends to the blend that I really like. It’s juicy and toothsome- dangerously drinkable, especially with a few slices of cured meat or cheese.