Like all the wineries included in our wine tours, the one we are going to explore today is very special. We are talking about Fattoria di Bagnolo.
Bagnolo is a very small village very close to Impruneta, just a few kilometers South of Florence. As you arrive there, in spite of its proximity to the city, you are immediately immerged in the countryside. Over 6000 old olive trees seem to welcome you, as you drive down the small white road that runs right in the middle of them. At the end of this short drive surprises begin.
The property and the owner
The farm belongs to the Bartolini Baldelli family since 1819. Giovanna will be there to welcome her guests. She will take them on a short tour of the property and the cellars. Starting from the main building: the old renaissance villa dates back to 1419 and was once the property of Machiavelli. It has a charming courtyard with the old well in the centre and also a private chapel. Through a beautiful, old and large door, you reach one of the gardens that surround the villa. From here you have one of the most spectacular view: hills, villas, olive grove and vineyards all around. In the distance you can see the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence cathedral!
The visit of the winey
Heading directly underneath this garden, Giovanna will lead you into the old aging cellar. Here the oak barrels keep company to the old cement vats. There are lots of stories about this place, and Giovanna is always happy to entertain you with them while also explaining about the importance of the wine aging process. She will also encourage everybody to take wonderful photos.
By now everyone is in a good mood, as Giovanna likes to joke and engage with her guests and so it’s time to move back upstairs, into the tasting room.
This is also a special room that is full of history. It used to be the oil mill, and the old stone mill and press are still there. This makes it easy to fully understand how they used to extract extra virgin olive oil in the past. So, the tasting at Fattoria di Bagnolo always starts with the beautiful olive oil they produce now with the more modern method.
But let’s come to the wines! The property includes 10 hectares (22 acres) of vineyards, all planted with mostly Sangiovese, and small percentages of the local Colorino variety, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and also some Trebbiano and Malvasia. The farm is within the Chianti Colli Fiorentini area, so it’s no surprise that this is their main production.
The young entry level Chianti Colli Fiorentini is made with a small addition of Merlot grapes to Sangiovese and has a very short aging in used barrels. The result is a very fruity and simple wine. It will surprise you for being extremely drinkable, yet very elegant with floral aromas. Next you will taste the Riserva version, where Merlot will make way to Colorino. The aging in this case is longer, about 12 months, and the barrels are not as old, hence the deeper color, more intense and complex aromas and definitely bolder body, but still, the elegance and balance of this wine are remarkable.
To complete the selection of red wines, Giovanna also produces a Supertuscan: Capro Rosso. This is a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged in newer barrel for 18 months. A wine of great body and character, that is also suitable for long aging in the bottle, to become even more complex. While the two Chianti wines are best with meals, from appetizers and pasta and simple meat and vegetable dishes for the base, to the richer roasts and aged cheese for the Riserva, Capro Rosso on the other hand, is a great meditation wine that is also excellent with dark chocolate.
Their sweet wine
Last, but not at all least, at Fattoria di Bagnolo they also make a wonderful Vin Santo with the white varieties grown. Made according to the traditional method, it undergoes an aging that is often extended to over ten years in the small chestnut wood barrels. The complexity of this wine is immense, and you can enjoy it both with desserts or alone, but it is absolutely great with a strong Gorgonzola cheese!
Breath-taking views, beautiful buildings, history everywhere, wonderful oil and wines and a fun host like Giovanna, all make a visit to Fattoria di Bagnolo a completely satisfying experience. Don’t miss it!