When visiting Le Fonti winery you will meet Angela, one of the sweetest hosts anyone could wish for! She will greet you with her solar smile. Angela will let you feel all her welcoming warmth in the charming tasting room. She and her husband Simone have organized the tasting in the room that used to be the local countryside school.
Here Angela will start explaining about their small winery. Her husband Simone started getting involved in the family farm in the early 90’s. He soon realized that he loved that world and decided to make it his only occupation. Since then, he started renewing some of vineyards, but essentially carried on what his father had started. Which is to say that he would produce Chianti wine and sell it bulk to the bigger local producers. In 2010, he decided to start bottling his wine with his own label.
Le Fonti is a typical family run winery, with only 8 hectares (about 18 acres) of vineyards, all registered for the production of Chianti wine, and a thousand olive trees. The varieties grown are mostly red: Sangiovese, of course, and also a small part of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. As well as two of the typical local white varieties Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianca. Since they began to bottle their wine though, they decided to valorize these varieties for what each one can express in the purest possible way.
This explains why their wines are all 100% one variety and refined only in big cement vats. When you taste them, you will be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the true expression of each vintage. There is no influence from wooden barrels, which can sometime be the “easy-way-out” to somewhat mask any imperfections. This also means that the work in the fields first, and in the cellar later, is extremely critical and important, but Simone’s dedication to his work is also 100%!
Let’s start tasting!
To emphasize all this work behind each bottle of wine, Angela will offer a taste of two different vintages of their Chianti, in addition to the Cabernet and the Merlot. All the people who have had the luck to visit Le Fonti winery, including the “not-so-experts”, beside enjoying the wines themselves for being incredibly drinkable and pleasant, have also always appreciated how each taste is a different story. Certainly, a lovely way to learn about one’s preferences and to start understanding the real impact of the different weather conditions that cause each vintage to evolve in its own and unique way.
Then there’s the exception: their white wines are a blend of the white varieties grown on the farm. They use those grapes to make 2 wines. First, a pleasant dry wine, that is wonderful to accompany the lighter summertime meals. Second, the wonderful dessert wine, Passito, made according to traditional local method. It involves years-long aging in the “caratelli”, the small chestnut wood barrels that you can also see in the room next door. Angela likes to serve it along with ice cream. A real treat!
Often Angela will serve food to better appreciate their wines. The extra virgin olive oil they produce will be a presence both in the dishes and on the table. I love going there. I love that room, the wines, the food and I love Angela’s sweet personality that makes each visit such a wonderful experience!