Not far from Florence, heading west, we reach the town of Montemurlo. The road climbs higher and higher up the mountainside. The view is spectacular over the Arno River Valley, which continues towards beautiful Lucca and famous Pisa. It is very green, only the leaves of the olive trees shine silvery and the few farmhouses are red from brick and grey from stone. What a beautiful place, even on this cold April day!

Michele Sacchetti awaits us in the fresh air, gives us a quick overview of the vineyards, which reach quite far down the hillside, shows us the wine cellar, and then seeks refuge from the chilly wind among the oak casks in the ageing room. Our impression is that this may be a very short visit. The man seems in a hurry. Of course not! We stay there for almost three hours… Michele explains that he makes two wines, and then there is another one of which he makes a small quantity. It’s a “passito” from different vintages, and he normally does not sell it. The tasting starts with his red wine, Tramonto. This, he explains, is because the wine from white grapes, which he does not want to classify as white, is full bodied, as well, and can be appreciated better after drinking the younger red. We taste and enjoy the wine. The temperature is a little too cold for reds, and yet it is possible to capture their essence.

We step outside and notice some very handsome Maremma sheepdogs, an ancient breed of white dogs, which Michele breeds here, as well. “This used to be my grandfather’s land. We loved coming here as kids and spend time with him in the vineyards, olive groves and woodlands. He left the land to us. My wife and I thought that we should make the best use of it. We’re inspired by biodynamic principles. For us, this means seeking harmony with nature, making truly natural wine, and breeding our dogs in the best environment. We asked a famous oenologist for help with the winemaking, and he brings us his expertise with natural processes”. We leave this beautiful place in the knowledge that we have found some truly unique natural wine – and potentially a future puppy!