Tenute Rio Maggio
Stewards of their Land since 1976
Graziano Santucci had a vision – he dreamed of owning a parcel of land so that he could produce wines and olive oils that truly express the soul of his home. It was from this dream that Graziano was able to find what he was seeking, a hillside property in his hometown of Montegranaro.
When he began in 1976, nobody thought the area was anything noteworthy, most of the workers going off to work in the shoe factories or farms in other villages. Graziano knew he had found something special. He loved his land, the vines, the fruit and olive trees, the soil, everything. Graziano had a deep connection with this patch of earth, a connection that he wanted to be sure was never lost.
Graziano passed in 1993, leaving his fruitful hillside to his son and new daughter-in-law, Simone and Tiziana. They felt the connection, as Graziano had, and decided it was time to take it to the next step. Simone, then a young and ambitious marchigiano, saw more and more of his father’s vision as he looked over his family’s property. With Tiziana by his side, as ambitious as her husband, Simone set out for his father’s vision: to craft wines that express the soul of the land, wines of terroir.
Today, thanks the spearheading efforts of Graziano, the area surrounding Montegranaro is known for its richness in agriculture, and many of the jobs that were once lost to the factories have come back to the farms. Now, the local economy thrives.
“Sometimes I feel like I am living in a tale, where everything is perfumed by several different smells given from the special union of my vineyards’ plants with the soil, the sky, the crop and the sunflowers that surround them, participating to its unstoppable natural cycle. The perfume that comes from this special union of elements is soft and light, I try to find the same fragrance in my wine too”. – Simone Santucci
Simone continues the Family tradition of stewardship, a tradition he is teaching to his daughter Alessia, who follows in her father’s footsteps. Their philosophy is based on respecting the individual vines, preserving the quality and character of the terroir.
Their dedication to the environment has earned Rio Maggio a reputation for being a leader of the province. “The high quality wine production is supported by natural products used in the vineyard and a limited usage of sulfites in the cellar. Thanks to this attention the company was selected by the Du Pont Guide for the Global Quality Project, that involves only the wineries committed in a production that respects the territory and the plants. [We] adopt a cultivation with a low environmental impact, also for the materials used, such as recycled cartons for its packaging and recycled glass for its bottles”.
The Perfumes of Tenute Rio Maggio: A Love Story
By Tiziana Santucci
People could close their eyes to greatness, to horror, and stop their ears against seductive melodies or words. But they couldn’t escape perfume. Because perfume is the brother of breath, and it thus penetrated people and they couldn’t resist it if they wanted to live. And perfume descended into them, directly to the heart and categorically distinguished sympathy from disdain, disgust from pleasure, love from hate. He who ruled odors ruled people’s hearts.
–Patrick Suskind, Perfume
Those were other times, when I worked in a perfume store, and from morning to evening was immersed in an odorous mist of essences with exotic names, hints of spices and sandalwood that evoked distant and enchanted oriental countries. Every morning was the same. Makeup always perfect, I spent my days among gilded, opalescent and translucent labels, fluttering like a moth around a light.
Then a trip to Bali and the discovery of love changed my life. I had set out single and, coming home with Simone, who soon became my husband, I knew that things would never be the same.
In fact, shortly afterward, when Simone’s father died in 1993, we had to decide what to do with the little estate that had been the old man’s passion for many years. He had planted several rows of vines interspersed with fruit and olive trees, crowning fields sown with wheat, corn and beetroot.
When I sit on the veranda of the wine cellar and look at these hills planted with corn and sunflowers, with a few fruits trees here and there, I note the great contrast caused by the green of the vineyards and think back to when Simone and I first started. I recall that the more Simone looked at this land, wondering what to do with it, the more he was convinced that high quality wines could be produced here. And that’s how it began.
Trusting my heart and instinct – as I’d done in marrying him at once with my characteristic enthusiasm – I decided to share that life plan of his. The shared dream fascinated me, though I was aware that it would require my total involvement. It wasn’t important to us that many people had long since abandoned the land in Montegranaro to go work in the footwear industry, or that nobody around here had ever seriously tried to cultivate specialized vineyards for the production of great wines. The challenge excited us and, following only our spirit of adventure and trusting in the strength we transmitted reciprocally, we got down to
I sometimes have the sensation of living a fairytale where everything is magically perfumed by different aromas that originate in the special union that our vines create with land and sky, with the corn and the sunflowers surrounding them, and with their predetermined and inexorable vegetative cycle.
The result is a light and tenuous fragrance, almost imperceptible, which I try to rediscover in our wine as I sip it in those brief, reflective pauses. When those essences emerge from the glass I have the sensation that something miraculous has happened, that something infinitely great has linked our commitment with these vines and the whole has concretized spontaneously, without too much clamor or reverberation, perhaps only to satisfy my silly amazement.
The jeans and cotton T-shirts I wear now that I work these vineyards makes my years in the perfume store seem so far away, but my desire to smell things surrounding me hasn’t diminished in the least. The perfumes of wine, the land and the cellar, full of grape must, or the earth and your clothes soaked by a sudden spring rainstorm, evoke a mysterious world that somehow brings to mind the old days of the fascinating scent labels.
I like to smell all the changes our wine goes through along its way, and through its evolution I can perceive its character, nature, soul and longevity. That odorous essence determines the rhythms of our time schedules and accompanies the various moments of daily life: peace and relaxation, chatting with Simone about our future plans, or convivial evenings spent with friends, maybe with barbecued T-bone steaks on the table.
They are perfumes that have enriched my life, giving it meaning and breadth. And it doesn’t matter if, in order to have them, I must sweat and toil in the vineyard, or break my back as much as or more than any man. What matters is to succeed in preserving them in a bottle for as long as possible, in the hope that they will increasingly resemble the terroir that Simone and I have built up for our family.
Tenute Rio Maggio
Contrada Vallone, 41
63812 Montegranaro – (FM) – ITALY
Phone: +39 0734 889587