Terraelectae, the wine ambassador of culture (second part)

Click above to watch the interview video Andrea Orsini,
Director of Communications and Marketing at Frescobaldi Group

The journey of BeBeez through the wineries adhering to the new branded wine project Terraelectaewithin Chianti Rufinaarea east of Florence (see here first part of previous article by BeBeez).

The new scene is al Nipozzano Slot of Frescobaldi family with a large estate of 240 acres of vineyards that tells a story that begins in the fourteenth century, when the Florentine family began producing wine but still maintains a family business that is not at all obvious. In this area, where only red wines are currently produced, the current continuity with the revolution in 1974, when Montesodi was the focal point of the project ante kuld with the idea of ​​marrying the personality of the vine and the place without chasing a large number. Today, the group represents the different faces of the territory with an oil production of 70 hectares within the Laudemio consortium, a production of meat, Chianina and Angus, for the catering cycle, an expression of the group’s synthesis that unites all activities and thehôtellerie.

Lebanon’s cedar tree planted by the Strozzi family is the symbol of the Lavacchio farm
Faye Lottero, Lavacchio Farm

Lavacchio it belonged to the family Strozzi until 1978, when it passed to the family I want to fight which from the beginning chose a more sustainable choice of agriculture, certified itself as organic farming in 2000, while in 2019 began the biodynamic certification process. The property also has the old Villa Strozzi, he told us Faye Lotteroa creative young woman, full of initiative, who has dreamed of seeing her restored since she was a child.

His project has to wait a little longer, but it is not set aside, also because the house has a consecrated chapel, which at the time was an important anniversary for the painting of Madonna of birth commissioned by the Strozzi family to Antonio Veneziano, according to the most accredited attribution, and now in the sanctuary of Montefiesole, a pilgrimage destination for those who have difficulty having children.

The legacy of the Strozzi family is also represented by a three-hundred-year-old cedar tree from Lebanon, a symbol of the family’s lifetime, an instrument that nobles generally used, that of planting secular areas, as a picture of solidity and good warning. Today, the plant is the symbol that the company does not boast of the Strozzi family and does not have a family coat of arms.

Lavacchio farm

Some activities revolve around the vineyard, such as Agriturismo with quality catering, one of the area’s landmarks; truffle soil; and the Ceramic Laboratory since 1980, now entrusted to Massimo Innocenti, a former visual arts teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, who offers ceramic courses and the creation of unique pieces. Son of art, his father had fused Florentine pottery with the tradition of the Arab-Muslim, and in 1990, among other things, created a collection of 250 plates for a mosque in Indonesia. In terms of participation in the project more directly Terraelectaethe choice fell on Casanova winerythe oldest vineyard in the whole area, from 1963, which the farmers have always called “the old one uphill”, where a Sangiovese clone that could be Brunello is grown, concentrated in the heat and very intense in the fruity scents: the idea of reinforcing this cru was already there and the new brand represented an opportunity to express its potential, Faye told us.

Lavacchio farmhouse

With Bossi Estate by Gondi Marquises let us take a journey through the history of this noble Florentine family alone, born of the De Filippi arm, already mentioned by Dante in the XVI canto of paradise and counted among the historical families of the city. The Gondians were knighted in 786 under Charlemagne, and in the Renaissance they were goldbeats, merchants, bankers, and had important ecclesiastical roles, as Gerardo Gondi told us. In particular, Giuliano Gondi, to quote one of the famous ancestors, a relative of Lorenzo the Magnificent, was the banker of King Alfonso of Naples, and assumed a significant role in the reconciliation between the cities of Florence and Naples. His nephew Antonio was first appointed banker for the dowry of Caterina dei Medici when he moved to France and then to the court by marrying the daughter of the Grand Chamberlain; in fact, it introduced the ‘Florentine’ beyond the Alps. It was also he who financed Giovanni da Verrazzano’s voyage who discovered New York Bay. His sons were Albert General of France and his brother Pietro, cardinal and archbishop of Paris, who, among other things, officiated at the Mass of Maria dei Medici when she became queen of France.

Gerardo Gondi with his brother in the vineyard

The family ties to France are very intimate, just think that some Gondi are buried in the apse Notre Dame; while their chapel in Santa Maria Novella it is on the left and was designed by Sangallo as the Palazzo Gondi, in the center of Florence, now home to cultural events. In short, the family continues to draw bridges between Italy and France on different levels, from wine to culture or rather, on a path where wine is one of expressions.

The purchase of the company dates back to 1592, when the Gondi family took it over from the Tolomei family, even though they had assets in the area as early as the year millennium. The present villa has a fifteenth century layout with various alterations, and a turning point came when Gerardo’s great – grandmother arrived there in the mid – nineteenth century. Comes from a French family of vigneron, who was a widow who had not settled in Florence, she preferred Rufina, whose hills reminded her of her France and had the idea of ​​producing good wines that could compete with the French. She was one of the first female entrepreneurs in the wine sector and introduced know fair French starting with specialization of the vineyard or fermentation in concrete vessels.

He created something that we could define as a Burgundy-style Chianti, the forerunner of the reserve, based on the identification of the boundaries of the ‘recipe’ set by Baron Bettino Ricasoli, ie. the choice of white berry grapes, the need to tame Sangiovese, the true heart of this wine, the introduction of the italic bottle, a variation of the Bordeaux wine to replace the flask. The results came with his son Carlo, who won some prizes at the French show in 1889.

The story continues on the Italian side as the French branch dies out with Giovan Francesco Paolo, the enemy of Cardinal Mazarin, who was eventually defeated and died poisoned, a story that had some impact, just think some historians say , that if he had not died perhaps the French Revolution itself might not have been necessary. In short, the Gondians have had an important weight in the events of the two cousins, being, among other things, leaders of Leonardo’s legacy. If it is now true that these events and many others belong to the past, the present feeds on memory and shows how Rufina’s territory deserves attention because it reserves many discoveries, through houses and genera, as the company’s enotourism trail reveals, with a calendar with cultural activities, starting with the programming of “Jazz on the farm” for the month of July and August. In terms of winemaking, the Poggio Diamante winery is a witness to the project Terraelectaeand concentrating on the style of the house, a traditional farm without organic certifications to give itself the freedom to intervene in case of critical situations, conscious of the ‘humorous’ side of Sangiovese, flanked by the company of international vines like Cabernet Sauvignon, as in the eighties, they were the first to introduce Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and of course the local Trebbiano for Vinsanto, considered a family jewel.

Selva Piana

Selva Pianathe only company producing the white Pomino together with Frescobaldi is currently led by Federico Giuntini Antinori Masseti which, he told us, after the death of his father, who had been a factor for forty years at Fattoria Giuntini Antinori, was adopted by the family to leave a legacy of activity in the sector. The company was an important reference point for the area especially in the 1980s, where it stood up to the defense of an area that suffered greatly at the time. The house, the main part of the estate, develops around one of the watchtowers to protect Florence – on the other hand, Pontassieve was born as a fortified village in defense of the territory – and became the summer residence of the Florentine bishops who expanded throughout the Renaissance. The residence, first owned by Albizi and then by Scalambrone, from which it was purchased by Giuntini, has undergone various alterations and is at the center of a small system of houses now being rented. Giuntini, which still owns La Parrina in the Maremma and Badia a Coltibuono directly, focuses heavily on the longevity of the wines as an essential element of attractiveness for investors and collectors.

Selva Piana’s cellars

It is no coincidence that on the occasion of a presentation of ‘old’ wines they competed – together with Capezzana from the Carmignano area – with a wine from 1980, but it can be traced much further back: we had the privilege of tasting a bottle from 1969 , still powerful. For years, attention had been focused on a first cru, Bucerchiati which followed Eichia project born of autonomy, which then merged into the project Terraelectae. To tell the truth, Federico’s original idea of ​​the brand was more stringent than the one approved by the use of pure Sangiovese, the unique character of the vineyard, but also its geolocation, as well as organic cultivation and natural vinification. It is no coincidence that he had proposed a ‘large committee’, as Chianti had not yet emerged. The expectation for the brand is that whoever considers the most balanced Sangiovese, Rufina, can be improved thanks to appropriate communication thanks to a favorable moment both for the climate changes that favor this area and for the development of taste and Selva Piana, according to Frescobaldi Group, it is certainly the best known name in the area, so it can give an important signal in this sense.

edited by Mila Fiorentini

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