Petra Winery: A True Tuscan Treasure
Tuscany, home to a plethora of vineyards and wineries, has embraced the fusion of art and wine in its lush vicinity. Not only is the locale propagating a wine lifestyle rooted in viticulture, it has seamlessly integrated brilliant architecture as if telling the world that winemaking and wine consumption are delicate forms of art. At the helm of this movement stand a few wineries that push the envelope in style and vine husbandry. One of them is the Petra Winery.
Developed by a father-daughter tandem, Vittorio and Francesca Moretti, the Petra Winery is a sight to behold, having a building that arches to the heavens and fields landscaped to accentuate the estate’s grand design. Remarkably, such a picturesque patch of land isn’t just known for its looks; Petra happens to produce vintages that make critics and wine aficionados quiver in delight.
History: The Foundations of a Magnificent Wine Opus
Petra, which means stone in Latin, pays homage to the wonders of nature and symbolizes the strong foundations of an unbreakable resolve. Founder and co-owner Vittorio Moretti has a deep respect for wine and winemaking, and has devoted a good part of his life to producing outstanding vintages. Vittorio owns other wine estates like the Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi and has put up a prominent consortium in the Terra Moretti group.
Following the success of the Bellavista, Moretti intended to incorporate his love for philosophy fine architecture in his next wine estate, which would later be known as the Petra Winery. Vittorio, also an industrialist, has made a fortune out of prefab building parts, and this gave him enough material to erect a wine estate.
Francesca Moretti, who shared her father’s dream, was tapped to spearhead the Petra project. The Morettis knew that they had to acquire the services of a world-class designer to make their vision transcend the realm of thought. That person was fabled architect Mario Botta, the maven who worked on the San Francsico Museum of Modern Art.
Botta thought of Tuscany as a playground for his imagination. Every minute detail of the estate was calculated, from the design and landscaping to the functionality of the wine cellar, devised to run even without mechanical arrangements. To capture the lifestyle of classy wine drinkers, he infused elements of modern design into his work. The result is a majestic grape garden that appears like a medieval castle courtyard with a large cylindrical structure that blends with the environment.
Vittorio is a virtuoso in grape growing, having handled different kinds of varietals in his other vineyards. With Botta’s architecture setting the stage, he went on to expertly cultivate grapes in accordance to soil conditioning and quality. The vineyard was divided into sections based on the soil, and Vittorio supplied each with the most appropriate vines given its set conditions.
Before long, the Petra Winery produced a series of vintages that impressed critics and casual wine drinkers. They would soon reap praises from wine authorities around the world, with Petra becoming a household name for connoisseurs. The Morettis’ vision has become a reality, and both father and daughter don’t intend to look back, unless recalling the story behind the grandiose estate.
Architecture: A Building that Reaches for the Heavens
Harmony and opulence were typified by Botta’s masterpiece, which is the Petra Winery. He designed an enormous cylindrical structure with a flight of stairs in the middle and a rectangular base. It was intended to look like a flower that blends with the environment, according to Botta. Within the structure is an elegant tunnel-like cellar, which houses rows of oak barrels. The color scheme is superb, as the oak interlopes with lighter shades of brown and clay.
Other sections of the building have a more contemporary flavor, with the wine processing units appearing like modern machinations and the wine tasting area being a swanky restaurant. The place looks so elegant that it also stands as a venue for photo exhibits, art showcases, and the like.
The landscaping is mesmerizing. Botta shaped each parcel of vines to conform to the building’s contours, highlighting the staircase and the general upward direction of the hill. From afar, visitors would think that the estate is reaching for the heavens, and once they do climb the staircase, they can view the incredible shapes patterns of the congregated vines. Heaven or heaven on earth: perhaps Botta wants us to take our pick.
Petra Wine: Artistry in a Bottle
Travelers would expectedly crow about the stunning architecture of Petra Winery, but if one were to ask a connoisseur or a wine critic, the first thing they would exclaim about is the vintages. The varietals are proficiently cultivated to bring out certain qualities to the wines. Notes, on the other hand, were carefully selected to captivate different sets of palates. Truth be told, the Morettis share Botta’s keen eye for detail with their winemaking, which is noticeable in every bottle.
The 2006 Petra integrates Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals, styled with a long finish and a pleasant bouquet. Firm tannins affixed with dark plums, spices, French oak, and blackberries roll on the tongue like silk. Fruity undertones balance its tannin level, making it a superb choice for classy dinners and elegant affairs. Wine Advocate gave it a 92 rating, which could be even higher after aging the wine for two to three years.
The 2008 Quercegobbe is a bold wine that personifies Francesca Moretti’s admiration for Merlot. Fruity aromatics greet consumers upon pouring a serving in a wine glass. Upon tasting, one would notice traces of licorice, spices, mocha and blueberry jam interspersed with silky astringency. Wine Advocate was thoroughly impressed and gave it a total score of 94, outdoing the top vintages of other vineyards. Other variants of the Quercegobbe also received similar ratings.
The Petra Winery stands with only a few peers when it comes to showcasing both visual artistry and expert winemaking. Its vintages never fails to draw raves from aficionados while the estate gains favorable attention from travelers worldwide. You can sample its finest vintages by heading to Tuscany or by boarding a flight to Singapore to visit its premier cellar in Singapore Wine Vault.