The Il Torchio estate is rooted in the history and traditions of the Colli di Luni area. The name �Il Torchio� refers to a traditional olive press that was historically used in the region. Each town would have its own communal press, and people would bring their olives to be processed and receive bottles of the communal oil in exchange. The Tendola family used to run the local press in the village of Castelnuovo Magra, and later spread into grape production.
This 12 hectare estate (9 of which are planted to vine) is unique in that it is one large contiguous parcel rather than many small parcels. Giorgio Tendola started the estate many years ago and was one of early champions of the Colli di Luni appellation. He believed firmly in the potential of the area, and specifically in his corner of the zone, Castelnuovo Magra. He was among the first to bottle and label his wine from Colli di Luni.
Sadly, Giorgio passed away after a sudden illness in 2011. His children were already fully occupied operating the family�s agriturismo, so it was up to the next generation, namely his grandchildren, Gilda and her brother Edoardo (only 27 and 18 at the time) to pick up the reins of the winery. Gilda was in law school and her brother in school for agronomy and both made the decision to leave school and carry the torch. Gilda took over operations of the winery and Edoardo immediately started apprenticing at a few wineries in Tuscany to hone his winemaking skills. For the first two years they hired an enologist but by the 2013 vintage they were fully on their own. Their vibrant labels were designed by a well known artist who lives nearby named Francesco Musante. Their winery and agriturismo is filled with some of his artwork as well.
Today Gilda and Edoardo are fortunate to be building their own experience upon the rich foundation of knowledge and experience that their grandfather had accumulated and passed on to them as children. The bulk of Il Torchio�s production are comprised in two Vermentino bottlings; Il Bianco, which comes from the vineyards lower on their hill, and the Il Torchio which comes from older vines located at the highest elevation part of their parcel. These two wines make up three quarters of the estate�s approximately 3,700 case total production (a little bit of red is also made). The vineyards are all farmed organically, though given the small size of the winery, they have not gone through the cumbersome work and cost to obtain an �official� certification. The work in the vineyards is all done by hand, and all grapes are also harvested by hand. Fermentations occur in tank with indigenous yeasts. The Il Bianco sees an 18-20 hour maceration on the skins to give extra texture followed by about 3 months in tank before bottling and release. The Il Torchio does not see any skin contact but spends about 9 months in tank on the lees before bottling. After bottling, it is also aged for eight to nine months in the bottle before release. In addition to these two wines, they now have two skin-macerated whites: Lunatica and Stralunato. Stralunato is a blend of 80% Vermentino with Moscato that spends one week fermenting with the skins whereas Lunatica is 100% Vermentino and spends six months with the skins in terracotta. While both see skin contact and some might call them orange wines, they are both more golden in color and retain great elegance along with some grip from the skin contact.