I am a Tuscan wine and olive oil producer and, like other Tuscan producers who go back many generations, I am confronted every day with the legacy of centuries and the evolution of time. I believe that when love for your estate, vineyards and olive groves is transmitted generation after generation, it gets into your DNA. The heritage of CASTELLO DI POPPIANO in Chianti Colli Fiorentini, represents to me the tradition of the Guicciardini since the XI century. I felt the need to create something new, setting up from scratch the estate MASSI DI MANDORLAIA in Morellino di Scansano, in Maremma (the southern coastal area of Tuscany). In both these estates my wife Annamaria (Titti) and myself have given much of ourselves with the desire that our love for our heritage can be transmitted to others through our products. We take pleasure in welcoming you into our website, and invite you to learn more about us, our people, estates, wines and olive oil.
The hills around the Castello di Poppiano has been for centuries the main site of farming activity by the Guicciardini who, even when involved in the public life of Florence, continued to look after their possessions in the country side. Names of still existing farm houses (La Costa, Malfastello, Camascioli, Poggerello, Olmo, Fichereto) recur in archive documents of the family since 1300.
We get an interesting view of the country life in Poppiano during the Renaissance period through the letters of Isabella Sacchetti, sister-in-law of Francesco Guicciardini, which highlight that already in the 15th to16th century olives and vines were the backbone of Poppiano's farming activities.
The Estate has remained in my family from generation to generation. Ferdinando, my great grandfather, gave it a great boost in the 19th century, reclaiming lands, improving wine cellars and the oil mill. This activity was continued by Lorenzo, my grandfather and Guicciardino, my father.
I inherited Castello di Poppiano in 1962, just as sharecropping (which had been for centuries the traditional farming contract in Tuscany) was coming to an end. That was a difficult period which ultimately led to radical changes to our estate, including crop specialization and upgrading of processing facilities, whilst bearing in mind the fundamental principle that progress should always respect tradition.
Castello di Poppiano is located in the area of "Chianti Colli Fiorentini" ("Chianti Hills of Florence"). While Chianti Colli Fiorentini "Il Cortile"and "Riserva" DOCG, together with Vinsanto, remain our most traditional wines, innovative works are ongoing and new IGT (Geographic Typical Indication) wines are being produced. The sunny hills and the well drained south-sloping calcareous stony soils (locally called "alberese") lying at elevation 300 to 140 m (980 to 460 ft) a.s.l. on the divide hills between the Pesa and Virginio streams provide fundamental conditions for great quality wines.
The vineyards cover 130 ha (320 acres). The old vineyards planted in the years '60 to '70 are becoming obsolete and are being replanted based on the concept "to produce quality". The average planting intensity increases from the past 3000 vines/ha (1200/acre) to 5000-6200 vines/ha (2000-2500 /acre) to reduce the yield per plant and get more concentration in the wines. Selected clones are introduced, whenever possible autochthonous. We have devoted a specific vineyard to identify new potential clones of Sangiovese in the frame of the project "Chianti Futuro" in collaboration with the Consorzio Chianti and Chianti Colli Fiorentini. Most of the vineyards are planted with Sangiovese, the main traditional grape of Chianti, with a complementary contribution of Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah. The vineyards on the hills of the right bank of the Virginio creek are devoted to the production of Chianti Colli Fiorentini DOCG, while those on the left bank mainly produce IGT wines.
In the fermentation cellar, close to the Castle all endeavours are made to exploit to optimum the quality of the grapes grown and harvested in our vineyards. Maturing in traditional oak casks for Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva, and in barriques for IGT wines takes place in the old cellar below the Castle, adding smoothness and lushness to the wines.
Our unique and fascinating "Vinsantaia" (the Vinsanto winery) with its venerable chestnut and oak "caratelli" (the typical vinsanto barrels), is housed in the Torre Grande (Main Tower) of the Castle.