Castello di Querceto is located in the northeastern side of the Chianti Classico area, in a small valley in the comune of Greve in Chianti.
This verdant area, thanks to its extraordinary beauty and to its central position, it is a strategic place to start visiting the historical Tuscany cities: Florence, home of art and poetry, is only 25 km far from us. Full of renowned museums, churches, squares and ancient buildings, the town makes you breath its history simply walking through the handicraft-shops and the elegant outlets.
In about 45 km you are in Siena, located up on a hill and surrounded by the old boundary walls. From the walls the city develops in a tangle of lanes and alleys arriving to Piazza del Campo, the main square where twice a year takes place the famous medieval horse race "Palio".
Arezzo, 55 kilometres far from us but very easy to reach, is one of the most ancient Tuscan towns, with its old traditions like the folkloristic fancy-dress game "Giostra del Saracino" in Piazza Grande, or the antiquarian market along the lanes of the old city, the gold artists' creations and so on.
Besides the historical sites, the whole Chianti Classico area is able to satisfy tourists' expectations, thanks to the pure beauty of the green hills covered by vineyards, olive trees and woods. This region is full of thermal baths, romantic country houses, farms and villages inviting you to taste the local dishes with the famous wines in a complete relax.
Castello di Querceto is about 7 kilometres far from Greve in Chianti, at about 470 metres above sea level. Its land extends over 190 hectares: 60 are planted with vineyards, 5 with olive trees while the remaining are woods, mostly of oak and chestnut trees. In the bottom of the valley there is a little fishing lake.
The estate is developed around the castle and the winery, where the new and modern structures have been built respecting the style of the ancient buildings. Only a country house and its hayloft are separated from the main structure; both recently restored, they have been divided in several apartments for the agriturismo.
The vineyards and the olive-groves are located between 400 and 530 metres above sea level; for this reason they are considered high-hill fields.
The geological nature of the ground is very particular, being part of the little area in northern side of the "Chianti Mountains": it is composed of "polychrome-schists" dating back to the Cretaceous-Eocene period.
Castello di Querceto and the lands surrounding it are places full of history and atmosphere.
Once the castle rose in a strategic and defensive position like a sentinel on the "Via Cassia Imperiale", one of the main roman roads built by the Emperor Adriano in the 123 a.C.
Nowadays it protects the treasure of its vineyards and olive-groves which spread along the valley of Dudda from "Passo del Sugame", and, after Dudda, towards Lucolena and "Monte San Michele".
The castle dates back to the Lombardic time and it still preserves the medieval shape with a long "L" body and the tower with the Guelph battlement in the middle of the front.
It was built in the XVI century a.C. after the destruction of the previous building, burnt and sacked during one of the several local wars at the end of the XV century. Also the houses surrounding the castle and the boundary walls were dismantled. Only the side of the wall dominating the valley remained and it is still there supporting the new building.
During the construction the castle was owned by the Canigiani family, later it was bought by the Pitti, and remained for a long time their country residence.
The vineyards of Castello di Querceto were mostly planted between 1975 and 1985; just few of them is 35 years old, while in the last period other 20 hectares have been planted.
The density of the vines changes from 3.330 plants per hectare in the oldest fields to 7.575 plants per hectare of the newest.
The training systems used are the "cordone speronato orizzontale" settled at 60 cm. from the ground and the guyot, both very common in Chianti Classico area.
The 60 hectares of vineyards are divided into twenty-two different fields, everyone placed in the most indicated plot of land, with the best microclimatic characteristics.
The grapes are mostly red, only a little percentage is composed of white grapes. Among the red varieties the most important is Sangiovese Grosso, then come the Canaiolo Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Colorino, Merlot, Mammolo, Cigliegiolo and Malvasia Nera.
Among the white we can find Malvasia del Chianti, Trebbiano Toscano and Chardonnay.
The aim of the cultivation is obtain the best quality maintaining an ecologic production. For this reason we chose making very short pruning, thinning out the grapes if necessary. We prefer using organic fertilizers instead of the chemical ones, fighting phytopathologies in a natural and integral way or, when needed, with very gentle phyto-medicines.
Harvest usually starts the 25th of September and goes on for one month. We still pick the grapes by hand, selecting them very carefully.
The olive-groves are divided in different plots with a density of plantation of 400 trees per hectare.
The olive trees we have at Castello di Querceto are the traditional kinds of Chianti Classico area: Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, Pendolino and Maurino. Olives are picked-up in November and they are crushed in a modern frantoio within two or three days, producing the extra-virgin olive oil, another precious Tuscany product.
In the estate centre, very closed to the castle, develops the whole producing structure, composed by warehouses, a modern bottling room and four cellars where the different parts of the wine making process take place: fermentation and first working, storage and ageing.
Other rooms are dedicated to the production and the ageing of Vin Santo, and to the bottling and storage of the extra-virgin olive oil.
Close to the office we are building a modern analysis laboratory and a big hall for meetings and tasting. A part if the hall is already used for our wine shop.
In the fermentation area there are twelve new fermenting tanks with an automatic and computerized control system. They contain from 130 to 300 hectolitres for a total capacity of about 3.500 hectolitres. There is also a pneumatic press for the skins which are softly pressed before the distillation.
For the malolactic fermentation and the natural clarification we use stainless tanks equipped with an automatic conditioning system. They can contain from 50 to 300 hectolitres.
The storing cellar is air-conditioned and it is equipped with stainless steel and glass-concrete tanks. The tanks have several sizes: from 10 to 200 hectolitres, for a total capacity of about 3.500 hectolitres.
The ageing cellars, located under the basement of the castle and in underground of one of new buildings, have a total capacity of about 1.500 hectolitres and include high quality barrels of Allier, Tronçais, Limousin and several tonneaux used for the ageing of the Castello di Querceto Crus and Chianti Classico Riserva, and a lot of small oak casks containing from 10 to 40 hectolitres for the maturation of the other wines.
Visiting the old cellar and smelling the wonderful aroma of the ageing wine, you can reach the heart of the castle where a selection of the best vintages, starting from 1904, is preciously kept.
In another conditioned room, the wine bottles are stored for a fining period going from 6 to 12 months, depending on the product, before being sold.
Finally the bottling and packaging room is equipped with a modern automatic system, producing about 3.000 bottles per hour.