Tenuta di Capezzana
This estate certainly has a rich history. The Carmignano region of Tuscany has been cultivating vines and producing wine since Etruscan times nearly 3000 years ago, proven by artefacts found in the region. The first reference to Capezzana is found in the Florentine archives where there is a document dated 804 AD, that shows that vines and olives were cultivated at a place called Capezzana at that time. In 1475 the first manor house was built by Monna Nera Bonaccorsi, which included winery buildings. Carmignano became one of the very first protected wine-producing regions in Italy when in 1716 Cosimo III de Medici delineated Carmignano, selecting it as a wine production area of exceptionally fine quality. In the 18th century under the Marchesi Bourbon del Monte the property and vineyards were extended, and then the estate proceeded to pass through the hands of the Adimari Morelli and Franchetti families, and finally to the Contini Bonacossi family when Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi acquired it in 1920 from Raimondo Franchetti's widow, Sara de Rothschild, and it has remained in the same family ever since. Alessandro expanded again with the purchase of the neighbouring Poggetto and Trefiano properties from Marquis Aman Niccolini, and so Tenuta Capezzana was born, comprising of three distinct estates divided into more than 120 plots. The first vintage of Villa di Capezzana (their flagship wine) was in 1925; it is the oldest estate in Carmignano. It was Alessandro's grandson Ugo who moved the estate away from share-cropping towards a modern winery following WW2. By this time the wines of Carmignano had lost their focus and disappeared as an independent style and so incorporated into the Chianti Montalbano appellation. But Ugo was a visionary who was instrumental in Carmignano achieving DOC status in 1975 and in 1988 it received DOCG recognition. It is the smallest DOCG appellation in Tuscany. Carmignano has a unique microclimate and soil composition and, with the use of international grape varieties, the wines from here are quite different from other Chianti regions. DOCG Carmignano wines can contain between 10 to 20% of Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Franc and some other Italian varieties may also be used) in the blend. The reason for this is historic: in the 1500's Catherine de Medici had cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon sent to Tuscany from Bordeaux, much of which disappeared with the scourge of Phylloxera, but they were blending Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese in Carmignano four centuries before the words Super Tuscan was coined. Ugo replanted the variety in the 1950's and, when Carmignano received its DOC status, it became the first approved wine to include Cabernet Sauvignon in Tuscany. Today 80 hectares are under vine farmed organically and the estate is headed up by 4th generation Beatrice, Benedetta and Filippo Contini Bonacossi and 5th generation Serena and Gaddo Contini Bonacossi, who all continue the legacy of this historic estate and region with their idiosyncratic wines.