Castelvecchio is a family run winery in the Chianti Colli Fiorentini area, just a few kilometers south-East of Florence. Of course, it wasn’t always a winery. In facts, the premises are actually a renaissance villa that was built on the remains of a medieval castle that used to belong to the Cavalcanti’s. Now it is Rocchi family that owns and runs it.
Stefania and Filippo are the third generation there. When you visit the winery, you are greeted by the always-cheerful Stefania, in charge of most office work. She likes to explain how, since the place was bought by her grandfather in the late 60’s, through experience and experiments, she and her brother have run the family business to become what it is today. They have in total 25 hectares of vineyards (about 60 acres) and 14 of olive trees (3000 plants). It can be reasonably considered a small to medium size operation, yet they offer a surprisingly wide range of products. Filippo is the winemaker and coordinates all the work in the cellar and the vineyard as well. Castelvecchio is a certified organic winery, so the work in the fields is endless, summer and winter alike. But the results are wonderful.
Their white and Chianti wines
Castelvecchio winery can boast ten different labels, each with its own history and all able to please many different palates. From the fresh and soft San Lorenzo, a white wine made with 100% Trebbiano grapes that grow in the oldest vineyard. This can be a wonderful start to a tasting experience there, especially in the summertime. In this period Stefania will take you to the beautiful terrace of the villa, where the views are absolutely charming.
The production of Chianti wines is the most consistent, with three different labels: Santa Caterina (Chianti), easy-to-drink on any occasion, even with seafood dishes; Castelvecchio (Chianti Colli Fiorentini), with more body but still pleasantly light and fresh, and perfect for most meals; and Vigna la Quercia (Chianti C.F. Riserva), robust and complex and definitely more suitable for rich dishes, like roasts and barbecues.
The other red wines also offer incredible variety.
The other red wines
Orme in Rosso is what one could consider a “playful Supertuscan-wannabe”. It is a Bordeaux style blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine has great fruitiness and considerable body and complexity. You can enjoy it with meat-based dishes, but also simply with a good selection of cheese.
Numero Otto is a very special red. Made with the historical Tuscan variety called Canaiolo, traditionally used in blends or to make a light and easy everyday wine, at Castelvecchio it is employed alone and aged in barrels to become a very smooth and surprisingly complex red wine that also has great aging potential.
Il Brecciolino is the official Supertuscan and has all the characteristics to be considered so: bold, smooth and very complex. Made by a blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese, aged for 12 months in oak barriques and then a further 12 months in the bottle before release. It offers extremely smooth tannins, long-lasting flavors and aroma of ripe fruits and spices. Those characteristics make it the perfect match for aged cheese, stews and game. To those who have the patience to wait, it can also give a lot of satisfaction as a meditation wine.
A little internal competition
Every year at Castelvecchio they have a tasting session of the best batches of Sangiovese to elect a winner that after an aging of 15 to 18 months in barrels will be able to stand alone. Solo Uno (literally “only one”) is the result of this internal competition. This is the perfect bottle for Sangiovese lovers, offering boldness, complexity and the right grip for matching with meat roasts and stews, as well as with aged cheese. This too has great aging potential that will reward those who know how to wait.
Their sweet wine
Finally, for something sweet, they produce two versions of the traditional Vinsanto. One made with only white varieties, Trebbiano and Malvasia, and the other, called Chiacchierata Notturna, made with the addition of a small percentage of Sangiovese. Both are wonderfully pleasant, complex and perfect when you enjoy it alone, sip after sip, but they can also be an excellent match for desserts and strong cheese.
So many wines to enjoy on all occasions and, if you visit Castelvecchio, you will also enjoy the super-friendly personality of Stefania, with all the stories behind each label and the beautiful landscape in the background. Any wine lover’s should add this on their to-do list and we would be happy to take you there!