Browsing this website, you can find out about the history of the Sonnino Castle and discover what it has in store for you: wines, olive oil, grappa, and vinsanto, guided tours, wine tasting, and direct retail of the Castle's products.
The Sonnino Castle, also widely known by the name of Montespertoli Castle, is located near Florence, just outside the village of Montespertoli.
Coming from Florence, it can be easily reached taking the freeway to Pisa-Leghorn, exit Ginestra Fiorentina. After leaving the freeway, travel towards Montespertoli. It is just a 20-minutes drive through the lovely countryside of the Chianti region.
The Castle is made up of several outbuildings and of a 16th-century palace with a fortified tower, whose origins date back to the 13th century. It is built on high ground and dominates the surrounding valley.
The whole complex, which had been owned by various powerful families from the area, became the property of the Sonnino family at the beginning of the 19th century.
Minister Sidney Sonnino lived here for a long time and, at the beginning of the 20th century, several famous guests stayed at the Castle: the Italian Kings Umberto I and Vittorio Emanuele III, the writer D'Annunzio, the politician Giolitti, and many others.
Precious documents preserved in the castle's archives testify the crucial historical role played by the Sonnino family during the period when the Kingdom of Italy had just been born.
Moreover, the farm still owns several documents, which are proof of various innovations in the wine-producing and agricultural fields, pioneered at the beginning of the 20th century, when farmers started to produce wine and oil in a more modern and scientific way compared to the rest of Italy.
A new age began in 1987, when the Sonnino Castle changed proprietor. The new owner was Alessandro de Renzis Sonnino.
Radical renovations were made, from the vineyards to the Cellar. The whole restoration was carried out with the deepest respect for the top-quality wine-making tradition of the Chianti region.
Besides traditional grape varieties of the Chianti region, such as Sangiovese and Canaiolo, today the production includes several other types of grapes, like Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cabernet, Sauvignon, and Malbec.
The terrains are of medium mixture and in some areas they contain clay and Galestro, a kind of clay typical of the Tuscan Apennines. The altitude of the vineyards is around 280 meters above sea level and almost all of them have a South/South-West exposure.
The density of plants in the newly developed vineyards is 5,600 plants per hectare.
The grape picking process is carried out strictly by hand, after repeated inspections to each vineyard to check the ripening progress. In the month of July, an early grape harvesting is performed in the vineyards with the greatest yield.
All the vineyards are located in the vicinity of the Sonnino Castle and only the grapes from these vineyards are used to produce the wines of the farm winery.
The grape production is carried out with a thorough respect for integrated agriculture and pest management.
No more than 10 years ago the Sonnino Castle opened its cellars to the public.
A tour of the cellars is an unforgettable experience, particularly for those who wish to explore a typical Tuscan Historic Cellar. The experience can be completed by tasting the wine and oil produced in the Sonnino Castle with the most traditional methods.
It is also possible to book a visit to the oldest cellars in the castle, where the finest wines are aged in oak barrels and barriques.
The visit includes a description of traditional wine-making techniques with specific reference to the typical features of the area.
In further details, the standard tour schedule includes the following:
A visit to the cellar, to the ageing area, as well as to the wine production and bottling area.
An experts participates in every tour and explains the wine-making methods, showing the visitors the different production areas and phases.
Guided Wine Tasting with a selection of Sonnino products, like wine, 'vinsanto', and extra virgin olive oil.
A guide of the Sonnino Castle assists the guests during the wine tasting and illustrates the technical details of the wines presented during the tour.
Guided tours of the Sonnino Castle Historic Cellars can be booked both individually and for small Groups, up to a maximum of 50 people.
The Cellars of the Sonnino Castle are open every day also at lunchtime. On Sundays, we advise you to book in advance.