Select Page
In partnership with Serendipity, the following wine is available in California, Texas and National markets.

Casa Emma accounts for one of the most grounded parts of our Italian book, specializing in first-rate iterations of Chianti Classico in the San Donato area of Florence. Their philosophy is sincere and practiced, focusing on vineyard health and technological advancement. And sometimes, that technology just so happens to be ancient. In 2017 they launched ‘Haranae’: a peerless, amphora-aged Sangiovese that pays homage to the tradition of terracotta.

The vessels in which Haranae resides are crafted by legendary amphora producer Massimo Carbone. And fortunately for us, Serendipity’s National Imports division has had the pleasure of witnessing Massimo work in-person. Come along for a firsthand look at the impressive, singular process behind his bespoke wine jars.

Behind The Scenes With Massimo

Massimo Carbone discovered his passion for clay and kilning early. At just 14 he began an apprenticeship with legendary terracotta craftsman Mario Mariani. After 12 years of training he launched his own kiln in his hometown of Impruneta, which immediately gained attention for its unique shapes, custom designs, and ornamentation. Each wine jar slated for Casa Emma has been the product of Massimo’s precise and unwavering dedication. The process begins with an unusual aspect of terroir (local clay is the hero of this story), continues with a Herculean level of craftsmanship, and ends, like any good epic, with fire and time.

Massimo In His Element

Massimo exclusively harvests certified clay of Impruneta. Found across the winding tributaries, rivers and waterways of Chianti Classico, the indigenous clay powder is woven into the very terroir of Tuscany. It is the same iron-rich, distinctively reddish clay clinging to the roots of prized grapevines. While it clearly imparts its character onto growing grapes, its durability and heat tolerance also makes it an exceptional material for building amphora. Back at the kiln, Massimo combines it with water alone to form the foundation for his projects.

It takes over one month to construct one amphora and then around another three months to complete. From start to finish the entire process is done painstakingly by hand. Massimo’s partner, Francesca Fontanelli, designs each of the jars herself— no computers allowed. The blueprints are strung on the walls, bearing the complicated directions of what could be mistaken for a spirograph doodle, but which Massimo aptly references throughout construction. He builds them vertically in the ‘Colombino’ technique, adding a mere two layers of clay per day. In 20 centimeter increments, the stacking allows the clay to dry and prevents collapse. Once the vessel is complete, it enters the kiln a grey mass and exits (after five fiery days) a vibrant terra cotta color.

The quietly confident Massimo builds his artisanal jars completely by hand, strategically slapping and shaping bars of clay into highly cherished wine jars.

Massimo’s wine jars excel in quality and behave differently than other amphora found in the rest of the world. They are made from the only terracotta that will not deteriorate over time, giving them a quietly eternal quality. They also typically have a rounder shape, which allows for equal skin and juice contact and provides a natural circulation. Unlike Georgian Quevri, their porousness does not require insulation, won’t cause them to sweat, and completely removes the threat of oxidation— as such, they also remain above ground and are great for moderating temperature. Massimo will be the first to profess that wines from his jars express a crunchy fruitiness and grippy tannin.

Honing In On ‘Harenae’

Production of Casa Emma ‘Harenae’ is limited, capping at around 2,000 bottles per vintage. In true Casa Emma form,the grapes are grown with organic and biodynamic farming practices. Juice for ‘Harenae’ spends a whopping twelve months in Massimo’s custom amphora, cradled in a familiar clay home. While it falls into the relatively blurry Super Tuscan category, ‘Harenae’ is one of the most focused, precise expressions of Sangiovese in our book. It has all of the heart of a Chianti with none of the wood, revealing a rustic, lean, and pleasantly alive iteration of one of Italy’s most established grapes. For terroir chasers, it has it all: a single grape, from a unique plot in Chianti, fermented in a vessel made of the very soil from which it was grown. And for classic Chianti fans, it offers variability. The natural minerality of the grape shines through in a way you wouldn’t be able to experience if it were aged in oak or stainless steel.

‘Harenae’ is the Latin word for ‘sand’ or ‘terracotta’

The current vintage of ‘Harenae’ has demonstrable notes of fresh raspberry, blackberry and undergrowth. Hints of balsamic make a guest appearance amidst a strong, full-bodied structure and silky tannins. While this wine is transportive on its own, you could pair it with a spicy tomato pasta or make like Massimo and fire up the grill to enjoy it with a juicy, fatty steak.

It’s not everyday that a wine as special as Casa Emma ‘Harenae’ falls in your lap. This bottling is both a testament to tradition and a refreshing, elemental take on Sangiovese. Even more rare, it reflects the talent and diligence of one of the greatest amphora producers of our time. Don’t wait to discover the artistry that is ‘Harenae’.

More From the Blog:

The Legacy of Limoux: An Interview with Baptiste Gazeau

Journey with us to the cradle of sparkling wine, where 7th generation vigneron Baptiste Gazeau crafts traditional wines alongside his mother, Francoise. In this exclusive interview Baptiste takes us deep into the heart of Maison Antech, introducing us to the joyful wines of their Cuvée Françoise collection. Historic bubbles, a deep appreciation for the Mauzac grape, and family ties abound.

Celebrate Women’s History Month With Adama ‘HER’

It’s a great day / week / month / year to support women in wine! Today we’re raising a glass to Adama ‘HER’— the first all-black, all-women run winery in South Africa. Read on to learn more about their incredible story and the groundbreaking social impact programs at the root of their mission.

Four Core Rosés For All Seasons

Have you locked in your rosé program for the coming summer months? Now is the time to ensure 2024 is a year marked by unforgettable rosé. Read on for our top choices from four corners of Europe.

Cheers To Five Years!

Pop the Champagne! Serendipity celebrates five years in the California market.

Serendipity Wines Expands California Presence through Acquisition of Obvious Wines’ Distribution Business

LOS ANGELES, CA — Serendipity Wines is excited to announce their acquisition of the California distribution business of Los Angeles-based Obvious Wines, and to represent their brands in the state of California.

The Bitter Truth: Amari Is A Confusing Category

Amari has been around for centuries, yet they’re often overshadowed by more mainstream spirits, leaving a hidden world of flavors awaiting exploration. It’s time to turn that confusion into curiosity— join us in revisiting the basics of this bittersweet spirit.

Meet the Best of 2023!

What do Decanter, Robert Parker and Jeb Dunnuck all have in common? In 2023, they showered bottle after bottle of our wines with 95+ scores and awards. Click to see our year in review of top scoring brands and the bottles that made us fall in love with them.

Pairing Face-Off! California Edition

Who paired it better? Our California SoCal and NorCal teams face off on what to pair with favorite fall recipes!

Pairing Face-Off! Texas Edition

Who paired it better? Our Texas teams face off on what to pair with favorite fall recipes!

4 Grower Champagnes You Should Be Drinking Right Now

In the realm of sparkling wines, few labels can rival the uniqueness and artisanal charm of Grower Champagne. But which of these small-batch, family-owned wineries should you reach for in the coming season of perpetual toasts? Find out inside!

Let’s Talk Lubanzi with Co-Founder Walker Brown

Born in Cape Town as the brainchild of two young travelers who were on the hunt for adventure and an opportunity to make a difference in the world, Lubanzi is a collaborative social enterprise with a story to tell about community, partnerships, and the value of the path less traveled. This month we interviewed Co-Owner Walker Brown to discuss their journey as they continue to push industry standards in labor equity, environmental sustainability, and overall deliciousness.

Bosco del Merlo Seasonal Selections & Sustainability Mission

Fall brings a welcomed change, especially for red wine enthusiasts. Check out our recommendations from Bosco del Merlo to ring in the Fall season.

Travel Journal Feature: The Warm Welcome of Fattoria Viticcio

Travel Journal Feature from Serendipity Alumi, Oran Lopez Reed.