"In a previous life, Silvio Messana was a New Yorker. There had always been this beautiful farm in Tuscany outside of Florence where Silvio’s mother lived. They visited yearly. His father had planted vineyards there in the early 1970’s. Since his death, his mother looked after them and sold the grapes to a local négociant. In the mid 1990’s, Silvio’s mother was ill and his family decided to move back to be near her. By this time, Silvio had already developed a passion for wine in the United States. With the certain impossibility of finding an affordable rent in New York with three growing sons, Silvio and his wife Catalina decided to stay on after his mother’s death, turning the Chianti Classico farm into their home with a portion of the farm converted as a half-year bed-and-breakfast. Silvio immediately began working on the vineyards himself.
The first vintage that Silvio estate bottled was 2000. There was a lot to learn and unlearn. He made friendships with only a few of the suspicious neighboring Tuscan vignaioli, but Paolo di Marchi of Isole e Olena (himself a foreigner from Piemonte) and his former agronomist Paolo Masi were encouraging and helpful with practical matters.
Catalina was against using any chemicals on the farm, insisting there must be a better way. Gradually through introductions to winemakers outside of the region who were using biodynamic practices (among them Nicolas Joly, Stefano Bellotti of Cascina degli Ulivi and, inidrectly, Sandro Sangiorgio, the director of the wine magazine Porthos), Silvio began to lose his fears and have faith that it was possible. Their advice led the Messanas to take the leap into natural farming and seeking a way to make the wine without the use of added yeasts or other enhancers. In the meantime, piece by piece, Silvio built a winemaking facility with his own hands (there was a small winemaking “garage” on the estate before) and things fell into place.
"Tïn" means "clay" in Arabic, in reference both to the tinaja (Spanish for "anfora"), as well as to vignaiolo Silvio Messana's upbringing in North Africa. Destemmed, tinaja [Spanish Amphora] fermented Trebbiano. Eight month maceration in clay anfora. It receives 20mg per liter of sulfur just before bottling." -David Bowler Wine