Today is a cold, crisp winter day in Tuscany. The sky is completely clear and would be perfect for a visit to Il Paganello winery. Let’s head to Chianti and discover what this place can offer!
The first impact is already a joy to the eye. We enter the main gate of this renaissance villa, once the property of a Tuscan wealthy family. They used it as a hunting holiday place, now Riccardo Bordoni, the current owner, restored it to its original beauty. It still looks like a villa, with its charming courtyard and terrace that overlook the small valley in front, adorned by olive groves, vineyards and old farmhouses. In the distance, one can even see the Chianti mountain range and the beautiful medieval Abbey of Passignano. Definitely a good start to our visit.
The owner: Riccardo
Riccardo is a wonderful host. Once everyone has had time to enjoy the views, he will start explaining about the history of this place. His family gradually acquired it and transformed into a winery. He will tell you a little history of the Tuscan wine making tradition. Obviously, he will take you to visit the cellar where his wine is aging, where he’s always happy to answer all the questions that his visitors make.
Il Paganello’s wines
But now it’s time to taste! We move to the tasting room. A beautiful old table is there, and everything is set: glasses, open bottles and dishes full of typical local snacks to better enjoy the wines.
At Paganello winery the main production is, of course, Chianti wine and Riccardo produces four different types. From the most simple and traditional Chianti, called Cenacholo, made with Sangiovese variety blended with some Canaiolo and Colorino grapes and aged only in cement vats; passing through the Chianti Superiore, where a special selection of pure Sangiovese will please any palate; or the more modern Chianti and Chianti Riserva that include in the blend a small quantity of Merlot grapes. They undergo a more extended aging in oak barrels, making these wines more approachable to those who are new to the typical and sometimes “edgy” character of Sangiovese.
Finally, you will taste Riccardo’s Supertuscan: QuantaCura is the name. This is a blend of Merlot and Colorino grapes selection. The perfect example of a happy marriage between an International variety and a really local one. This wine is aged in the French barrels for several months and the result is an elegant, full body wine with incredibly soft and long-lasting taste and aromas of ripe berries and spices. Perfect for important and rich dishes, but also wonderful alone.
The tasting though is not over until everyone also tries Riccardo’s Extra virgin Olive Oil, always at its best, as he makes sure that it is packaged immediately after being pressed, to preserve all its freshness and goodness.
All in all, a visit to Il Paganello will satisfy everybody’s whims by offering history, charming views, a superb host and wonderful wines and oil!