The estate of Castello di Fonterutoli – as breathtaking for its beauty as for its 500-hectare scale – could scarcely be bettered in terms of making great Chianti Classico. But that enviable location hasn’t always been easy on its inhabitants: the last of the great Florentine castles on the road south, it has been destroyed several times by the powers of nearby Siena.
The Mazzei family, landowners here since 1435, has seen it all: the days in the 16th and 17th centuries when Fonterutoli supplied wine to the English royal family; the post-war suffering of Tuscany when the young fled the fields for the factories of Turin.
But the Mazzeis were among the select group of Tuscan landowning families who were enlightened enough to grant their farmers the chance to share in the wealth offered by the land, ushering in a renaissance which continues to this day.
Now with the state-of-the-art winery, Fonterutoli is at the forefront of modern Chianti Classico. A huge amount of work has been done around clonal selection and they have fully embraced the Italian take on the ‘château’ concept alongside single vineyard Super-Tuscan Sangiovese/Merlot blend Siepi. These are wines that are eminently drinkable, but never sacrifice the unique character and history of this special region.