Tuscan vineyards have always be devoted to the planting of red grapes, acknowledged worldwide. Most of them are from pure Sangiovese, less or more. You are spoiled for choosing among Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Chianti, Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and many others. More there are many big reds from Bolgheri.
Discovering “Fontodi world” has been a priceless experience. And it is not a catch-phrase. I have already tasted the wines from this vineyard some years ago, but it is a partial valuation if you do not really know the place where these wines come from. Fontodi is in the heart of Chianti Classico, in a valley South of Panzano (nearby Florence in Tuscany), a place known, since ever, as the Golden Valley. Here, thanks to a special terroir, vine growing is of high quality, because of the high altitude vineyards ( from 350 to 500 mts asl) the marly soil, sun exposure and local microclimate with important diurnal range.
“Wine and culture” or either “wine is culture”: no limits for us (LOL). But, now, the combination is made by Nittardi, a winery in Chianti Classico (and not only there), owned by Stefania Canali (history expert from Venice) and her husband Peter Femfert (German editor and art connoisseur). They bought the winery in 1981, but the estate and the amazing small village with the tower in Castellina in Chianti is dated back earlier in the history and art (that is culture, of course).
The protagonist of this wine story is a volcanic woman, proactive and full of ideas. She’s Donatella Cinelli Colombini, a great woman of Italian wine. Born in Siena and graduated in History of Medieval Art, in 1993 she founded the “Movimento del Turismo del Vino” (Wine Tourism Movement) and invented “Cantine aperte” (open wineries), the event that made wine tourism known in Italy.
The “natural woman” Angela Fronti is the real “fresh face” of a wonderful Chianti Classico Riserva that thrilled me at last FIVI Market. FIVI is Italian Federation of Indipendent Winegrowers. FIVI winemakers in Italy are a clear sample of artisans winemakers, the classic vigneron, who follow in first person all the steps from vine to wine, up to the marketing and communication of their products. Wines that almost always are the result of organic or natural agriculture, without (or almost) use of chemical treatments in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Few years ago I had the pleasure to meet winegrower Andrea Cortonesi, the Uccelliera owner: I saw in him a strong determination and desire to improve his viticulture and his wines always and continuously. Currently can confirm it: he has achieved great results and never stops. Andrea Cortonesi is a forward-thinking and ambitious man.
“l became a farmer by deliberate personal choice – says -. Although I come from an agricultural family, I could have chosen a different path–until, in 1986, I purchased the Uccelliera farm”. Uccelliera means bird house.
I met Chiara Lungarotti during some interviews, when she was the national president of the Italian Wine Tourism Movement. She isn’t even that appointment but – actually – that role has sure got under her skin. The Lungarotti wineries (of which Chiara is the CEO) are a shining sample of how the hospitality of wine tourists and of all types of visitors should be managed. How do you do it? Proving availability, professionalism, passion, ability to tell their own story.
From cinema to wine: what an exciting story! In my opinion, very briefly defines the saga of Rocca delle Macìe, the Chianti Classico winery belonging to the Roman family Zingarelli. It’s been more than 40 years (1973) since Italo Zingarelli bought Rocca delle Macìe at Castellina in Chianti, near Siena. He was producer of some important movies got famous in cinema history, such as “spaghetti western” genre performed by unforgettable Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. In 70s, Italo crowned his dream of creating a holding in the heart of Chianti Classico.
The love for Brunello di Montalcino is unyielding: for us Italians is an unshakable certainty, considering it is our most famous and appreciated red wine (along with Barolo) all over the world. This type of wine has today reached full maturity of style thanks to its unquestionable quality, which reaches the highest levels. Among the many Brunello wines I have tasted, there is, however, one that I could define my “heart’s Brunello” simply because it was one of the first tastings of my sommelier course. It really was “love at first sip”, believe me!
Maria Caterina has an innate gift for singing: she possesses an intense and melodious voice, her heart beating for the seven notes. But it is far from her only passion: she also feels a strong love for her land, her wine, and the nature she breathes in from her vineyards and olive groves surrounding the villa and the family estate in the surroundings of Montepulciano. A love for the land inherited from her father Glauco, a man of great vitality and lucidity. But how did the family business of the Dei family come about?