Bolgheri is located in the commune of Castagneto Carducci, a 270 kilometers north-west of Rome and lies in the Province of Livorno in Italy, on the foothills of the Colline Metallifere, south of Montescudaio.
Due to the unique characteristics of the soil and micro climate sunny, dry and moderate winds, the grape varieties of Bordeaux origin tend to thrive, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Mario Incisa della Rocchetta planted the first Cabernet vineyard in Castiglioncello di Bolgheri in 1944. The first bottle of Sassicaia, with the same label we know today, appeared in 1968.
The DOC certification for the red wines took many years to recognize that the brilliant insight of the Marquis Incisa had created a unique phenomenon in the history of Italian wine: that phenomenon which makes Bolgheri wines a full and grand expression of terroir, wines which are deeply linked to the soil and climate of their territory. Among the most known wines with an original and personal character - were called "Super Tuscan" producers are Tenuta San Guido who produce Sassicaia, Tenuta Dell'Ornellaia who produce Ornellaia, and Ca'Marcanda of Gaja, Guado al Tasso of Antinori.
The current set of DOC regulations for Bolgheri red wines became approved in 1994. Before the creation of this DOC, the "Super Tuscans" from the area were typically sold under the simpler designations Vino da tavola or IGT Toscana. The area covered by the DOC Bolgheri has expanded rapidly in the past ten years, going from 250 hectares at the end of the 90s, to now surpassing 1000 hectares.
The production rules of 1994 permitted the production of:
Bolgheri Rosso - (Bolgheri red wine).
Bolgheri Superiore - (superior level Bolgheri red wine).
Bolgheri Sassicaia - limited to vineyards on the land owned by the San Guido estate.
Cabernet Sauvignon (with a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 80%). Merlot and Sangiovese (optional), in varying percentages (from 0 to 70%) - Rosso must be aged for 24 months. Bolgheri Bianco (Bolgheri white), based on Vermentino with complementary percentages of Trebbiano and Sauvignon Blanc.
The sub-zone Sassicaia has its own appellation declaration; with up to 85% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, it must be aged for 26 months and is expected to be upgraded to DOCG status. A recent modification of the appellation rules, have changed the percentages permitted in blends: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Cabernet Franc: 0-100%; Sangiovese: 0-50%; Syrah: 0-40%.
On December 14, 1995, the official wine-growers association for the protection of Bolgheri DOC Wines was founded. The symbol adopted by the Consortium was the cypress, the element which characterizes the Tuscan countryside, and which has become celebrated in this area due to the famous road which connects Bolgheri to San Guido. The straight, six-kilometre long road, of trees represents the cohesion of the producers who decided to join together in a close-knit group, with the aim of enhancing, promoting and defending quality wine production in the territory.