A place of the heart
Making wine at Il Castagno in Cortona, Tuscany
In the early 1970s, my father, Sergio, bought a small estate of about seven hectares in a place called Il Castagno. We’re situated in the hills facing Cortona; the property includes an olive grove and a vineyard.
Even though it was only our vacation home at the time, my family’s dream was always to put down roots in Tuscany and do all we could to preserve that corner of paradise by creating a small, top-quality winery that would make the most of the area’s natural, extraordinary vocation for vines.
Following the purchase (in 1992) of a second nearby plot of land called Poggio del Sole, the company grew to its current size.
Today, the winery is comprised of these two farms. Both are located on the gently rolling hills facing Cortona in the ancient Chiuso della Valdichiana. The surrounding area is quintessentially Tuscan: woods, olive groves, wheat fields, sunflower and tobacco plantations, small hamlets, old villas, parish churches, and Etruscan ruins. The average altitude is about 300 meters, and the two farms are only a few kilometers apart.
A unique setting
We are situated on a plateau between the Casentino mountains and the mountains bordering the upper Tiber Valley and the Val d’Orcia. The ancient and noble city of Cortona, perched on the slopes of Mount S. Egidio, dominates all and overlooks a sweeping and enchanting panorama that extends from Lake Trasimeno to Mount Cetona, and from Montepulciano to Mount Amiata.
Today, Il Castagno houses our old family home and part of the vineyards, the vinification cellar, and the barrique cellar.
Il Castagno is the heart of our farm, so I named the first wine I made after it. This is our most symbolic wine: Il Castagno Syrah Cortona D.O.C. is a pure Syrah and has been produced since 2003.
Our team is made up of Alessandra, my wife, who is responsible for the commercial sector;
Alessandro Lanterna, a superb agricultural engineer and enologist from Perugia, who also produces excellent wines at his company, Bettalunga; and Oriol Parés Marcé, a brilliant and imaginative agricultural expert and vintner from Catalonia, responsible for the vineyards and the cellar; Stefano Dini and Gianluca Grassi, friends, and agronomists; Valentino Ciarla, friend and consultant winemaker.
And, of course, there’s also Attilio Pagli and Federico Curtaz, our winemakers and agricultural experts who helped me start this adventure, teaching me the little I know today. And finally, there’s me, Fabrizio. I’m responsible (maybe guilty?) for all this madness.