The estate takes its name from the ancient Etruscan settlement of Ghiaccio Forte, which is located within the property. The ruins of the ancient town – whose name translates literally as ‘strong ice’ – are on a plateau five minutes from our wine cellars. Once a thriving territory of the Etruscan people, the city was destroyed in the 1st century AD in the wars that saw the Roman Empire expand into Southern Tuscany. Archeological evidence in the nearby Museum of Scansano shows evidence of wine production at this site, including production of ancient clay amphorae, stretching from the 3rd century BC to the 6th century AD when the area became marshland again.
Of the 72 hectares acquired by Sandro Chia in 1999, over forty hectares have been left as untouched Mediterranean forest. This provides a fertile habitat for wildlife, as well as a protective buffer for the thirteen hectares currently under vine. When planting the vineyards the Chia family worked closely with the best professionals in Italy in order to guarantee the appropriate selection of rootstock. The choice to plant Sangiovese on particularly rocky soil was initially criticized by the local winemaking community. At a time when many local producers planted Bordeaux grape varieties for their wines, the decision seemed anachronistic. In time, however, it has proven to be a wise one.
Since the estate’s first harvest in 2004, it has become clear that excellent Sangiovese can be produced in the Maremma. In 2006, under the supervision of oenologist Carlo Ferrini, a new star was born bearing the name of the estate itself: GHIACCIO FORTE MORELLINO DI SCANSANO DOCG. From the outset, the wines of Ghiaccio Forte have received critical acclaim from journalists and wine experts, including Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate and James Suckling.