Notoriety does not happen over the centuries sometimes, let alone over a few years. Tommaso Squarcia belongs to Castello Tricerchi and the Castel belongs to him. However, he had no idea until recently of the true meaning of this statement. He had moved away from it, to Rome where he went to College and was about to begin his metropolitan life, thrilling maybe, who knows, but the truth is he was losing sight of having dreams. Then he got the Angels’ call…
He is the new millennium knight, and this is his story.
The construction of the Castel had begun in 1260 in Montalcino by the Altesi family and was completed in 1441 by the Tricerchi. What took it so long no one knows, he was saying to me as we were wandering about the magnificent halls and admiring the general splendor of it all. Most likely they had run out of money, or maybe they had just lost sight of having dreams themselves. On the via Francigena, the road that used to take pilgrims to Holy Rome in search of the ultimate truth, that Castel has hosted them all over the centuries; these walls have heard all of their stories, their secrets and their dreams. They must have been dreams of hope because this place is filed with positive vibes only, and radiates so much positive energy it could heal any troubled soul.
When everyone else in Montalcino was on the rush to changing their life around and devote it to Brunello, at Castello Tricerchi they made other decisions and stuck to farming. Was this the right choice? Would it make life harder for Tommy when he chose to follow through with winemaking? There is no right or wrong answer, and being an incurable optimist, I like to see the glass always half full, and in this case with Brunello.
So no, winemaking is no family tradition, but he lacks nothing here! An outstanding estate, beautiful soil, all the right people at the right places, and finally a dream! Mind you however, there’s no way of making any dream come true unless you have a plan! To turn a dream into reality, you must have a project. You must know where you want to go, be clear about what you need to change, define the gap between what you are and what you have to be, and the actions necessary to move in the right direction. And that is exactly what Tommy is doing! He knows his wine will not become a star overnight, and has being doing his homework for quite some time now. It is going to take him some time to figure out what he can do with what he has, so he is studying his terroir by means of processing the grapes from each parcel separately to preserve their biodiversity and produce a series of small scale wine batches with distinct peculiarities. He then can choose and bled to perfection according to every vintage.
I just loved to watch him glow with an extraordinary light while we were tasting the different barrels in his magical Cellar, and he explained the way he was pursuing his dream, or rather his plan by now. It feels so good to know that there are young people like him who are so real, so authentic, so vibrant in this era of false pretenses, where most people are sadly dwelling in the virtual reality with no true identity, no dreams and no goals other than “make believe”. So very refreshing! And let me tell you there are so many young winemakers in Montalcino and all over Italy as passionate and in touch with reality as him, who give me hope for a better future. Will tell you more about them!
“ …. And football teams are kissing Queens and losing sight of having dreams
In a world where what we want is only what we want until it’s ours
And I’m calling all angels …”
as the song goes, Calling all Angels by Train. It is no coincidence that I had this song ringing in my head as I was wandering through the Castel, the Vineyards and the Cellar, as 1441 is in fact an Angel’s number. I like to believe that Angels can speak to us this way, by means of this kind of numbers repeating themselves over and over during the day and giving us hope. And I like to believe it was the Angels themselves who caused the delay to the paperwork that prevented the Riserva 2013 to be called as such, and ended up being called A.D. 1441 Brunello di Montalcino instead which is just perfect in any ossible way. A wonderful stroke of luck after all!
This is Tommy, handsome, messy, flamboyant, smart, moved by a dream and working his way to notoriety the hard way, with a clear plan, the only possible way! And this is his story. We will hear more and more about him and about Castello Tricerchi indeed, because he is in touch with reality, trying to do everything the right way with no shortcuts, and he has the Angels on his side!