Though virtually unknown even in the wine world, the Valdarno di Sopra denomination dates back to the days of the Medici family during the Renaissance. This tiny area of Tuscany near Chianti has long been marked for its winemaking potential.
Petrolo was bought by the Bazzocchi family in the 1940s with the aim of producing wines through traditional methods. Gastone Bazzocchi was the first person to begin cultivating high-quality Sangiovese-based wines at the estate, but it is his grandson, Luca Sanjust, who brought the winery the world-class status it enjoys today. An art scholar and successful painter in his own right, Luca decided to change paths in the early 1980s and has dedicated his time and passion to Petrolo ever since.
Since the second half of the 80's, winemaking at Petrolo has aimed to produce great wines that embody the distinct character and quality of its terroir. But making great wines is a complex challenge since a coincidence of circumstances are required: special pedoclimatic conditions, awareness and delicate work in the vineyard, and a good dose of luck in the cellar. In order to make a great wine, each and every one of the vines are tended to rigorously, carefully, and repeatedly throughout the year.
Petrolo has a remarkable track record of producing some of the finest examples of very different native and non-native varieties in Tuscany. These varieties include grapes such as Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trebbiano, Malvasia Bianca, and more. Since 2004, traditional farming methods in their vineyards have gradually been abandoned in favour of sustainable farming (dry farming, no tillage, total grassing with mulch management and no use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers).
The estate has 31 hectares of vineyards with rocky soils typical of the Chianti region. The favourable terroir is aided by the site's altitude of up to 450 metres above sea level and sunny exposures. Harvests are carried out manually, and different varieties are fermented separately in glazed cement vats using native yeasts. Most of the wines are aged in French barriques, with some larger barrels and 4000 litre wooden casks.
Petrolo is more than a winery. It's a place of character and personality that embraces all the things to love about Tuscany: beautiful landscapes, the decadent charm of a historical villa, and a welcoming country home with good wine and food always on the table.