Located a few km from Castiglione Della Pescaia, Le Mortelle is a wine estate owned and run by the Antinori Family. With a fairly new wine cellar hewn out of the rock and one of the most innovative wine production facilities in the area it is definitely a place to visit for any wine lovers or those who are interested in how wine is produced and made. The origins of the estate stem from the draining of the marshes and raising of cattle in the 19th and 20th century by the Hapsburg Rulers of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. This belief in agriculture persisted with the development of the vineyards and slow painstaking growth of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese varieties plus Ansonica and Viognier. With around 160 hectares currently planted, the estate also includes fruit orchards and is surrounded by olive groves. The soils are characteristically sandy and loamy on a rocky bedrock, which is visible as you delve into the cellar during a visit which was built mainly underground to minimise the impact on the environment and using the natural characteristics of the rocky substrate to help regulate the temperature of the storage and production facility. The cellar has been built on three levels, each level reflects a phase of wine production. From grape arrival on the top level, to fermentation storage and ageing in Oak barrels on the lower levels. The interesting point about this particular cellar is the whole production process uses gravity to pass the wine through each stage of production from the top to the lower levels. The aim of the estate is eco-sustainability, and all stages of production dealt with in the most energy conserving way possible. We will take a further look at the wines themselves in a later visit when we taste and look at the different characteristics of different types of wine that can be produced.