The estate's name, Uccelliera, which means aviary in Italian, most likely stems from the middle ages when falcons were raised in the area. The owner, Andrea Cortonesi, is the only son of a farming family and has worked in the fields since he was a teenager with his father. In 1986 he managed to purchase 4ha of house and garden including half a hectare of old vines, and straightaway he planted two hectares of vines and now farms a total of 6ha of vines. The estate comprises vineyards with various exposures and soils centred in Castelnuovo del Abate on the south-east side of Montalcino. Vineyard managment is as natural as possible and there is minimum human intervention in the cellars. The wines are fermented in steel then aged in a mixture of large oak cask and smaller barriques (36 months for the Brunello) followed by several months finishing in bottle. These are thoroughly complete, moreish and rewarding wines from an estate that, in the last 5-10 years, has become one of the region's very best.