10 thought-provoking questions & answers from Montalcino. Meet Elisa Sesti of Sesti – Castello di Argiano.
1. What is your most important wine experience?
Working with the infallible yet volatile and most perfect thing that is Nature.
2. Have you made a ‘wine pilgrimage’ and if so, where and why?
Except for the great diversity of areas and grape varieties in Italy, the pilgrimage to Burgundy was of course necessary and exceptional. The wonder of the vine is that, where man has settled and planted it can take us to so many extraordinary places in the world. Like one forgotten vineyard on the borders of Bolivia and Argentina that I once found by mistake.
3. Who do you prefer to drink wine with?
With all those who enjoy the phenomena of life and good conversation.
4. What would your (3) best recommendations be if someone came to visit your area?
The Val d’Orcia is an extraordinary place which has a fine balance between: farming, forestry, architectural and natural elements; like the hot springs which have been flowing since Etruscan times. From the Roman baths of Bagno Vignoni to the Medieval Abbey of St. Antimo; to the village of St. Angelo in Colle and the extinct volcano of Monte Amiata, there is much to see.
5. Who do you dream to work with and why?
I enjoy the knowledge of the old farmers (contadini); an oral tradition has passed their knowledge down through the generations. With technology this will be something of the past, so I intend to learn all I can, while I can, from them.
6. Who is or was your mentor and why did you choose them?
Many people in my life, but my father Giuseppe and mother Sarah have a central place.
7. What motivates you?
The fact that one can never stop learning and every day and every year will bring new horizons.
8. What is the biggest challenge you face today?
The challenges of climate change and bureaucratic castration.
9. What is your greatest achievement?
My son Orlando.
10. And now?
Having built a lake, and planted three more hectares of vineyard for higher selection (as weather challenges us more and more), I’m going to start work on our 12th century Castle, Castello di Argiano. It is the last of the Medieval castles on the southern borders of the Republic of Siena yet to be restored. To bring our vineyards and estate into the next era.
See all Sesti wines here.