The 'garagistes', or makers of 'vis de garage' were a series of winemakers creating modern bottles that protested against the old world styles that had dominated the region; that is, highly tannic, long-aged bottles that weren't in line with developing wine styles. While usually used to refer to a group of producers operating out of Bordeaux in the early 1990s, the movement extended to Italy too, and two crucial members were Rita and Virgilio who founded Tua Rita wines in 1984 when they fulfilled a lifelong dream of purchasing a property in Suvereto, and committing themselves to living in harmony with nature while planting vines on their land.
The couple were so successful at tending their original 2 hectares of vineyard that Tua Rita became one of Italy’s first successful producers of vins de garage. In less than a decade they managed to extend the property up to nine hectares. Just 40 years after founding Tua Rita, the area of planted vines extends to a whopping sixty hectares. And it's easy to see why they've grown so enormously; Tua Rita was a wine that quickly became associated with the feverish love for Super Tuscans – those cheeky Tuscany wines that began being developed outside of the rigid requirements of the Chianti AOC that gained cult status around the word, particularly in the US. It is thanks to trailblazing vineyards like Tua Rita that these bottles still hold such significance (and have such legions of fans).
While there has been much talk of modern 'natural' wines, vineyards like Tua Rita have been run by these now fashionable practices long before it became the process du jour of hip winemakers. Their vineyards can be found in the area of Upper Maremma known as the Colline Metallifere, or Metalliferous Hills. This happy accident of nature leaves its distinctive mark on Tua Rita’s wines, imparting unique iron-like nuances to the aromatics and lending the palate a delicious hint of salinity. Vine protection methods are the same as those adopted for organic grape farming but the underlying objective is to assist the plants to defend themselves by ensuring the health of the soil and the environment and abandoning plant protection products.
Growth has been driven by Rita and Virgilio’s enduring enthusiasm and an ever-deepening awareness of the potential of this estate resting in the area between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Colline Metallifere, known as Val di Cornia. This is a real family business, too; the winery’s image flourished under the skilful hand of Stefano Frascolla, husband of the owners’ daughter Simena, who herself became involved in managing the enterprise after her father passed away in 2010, and their son Giovanni.