At the end of the nineteenth century, Count Venceslao and Countess Gabriella Spalletti Trivelli became the owners of the large Colognole farming estate that until that time had been the property of the Martini Bernardi, a noble Florentine family. The Count came from Reggio Emilia, where the branch of the eldest born of the Spalletti family still resides. Having been nominated Senator of the Kingdom by the King Umberto I, he had decided to move closer to Rome to better carry out his political task. Venceslao truly loved the countryside and thus, deeply struck by the Tuscan landscape, he had decided to recreate for himself a farming estate South of the Apennines. He bought three estates and among these, also Colognole!
It is no coincidence that Italy is the country with the largest artistic and natural heritage in the world..... It is no coincidence that among the twenty beautiful regions of our peninsula, Tuscany is the one that attracts the attention of about half the tourists travelling around Italy. However there is another feature of our region that gives a good idea of its fame and of how much it is appreciated around the world: "Chianti" is the word fifth word in the Italian language known abroad, after "Ciao", "Mamma", "Pizza" and "Mafia"! There are historical and artistic reasons for this success. Florence, with the Medici family, its noble families and its merchants and craftsmen, has always been a cradle of artistic beauty and an international cultural centre.
This love of art and of the beautiful expressions of human invention could not of course neglect a respect for nature and care to keep it uncontaminated and in good condition. The rural society organisation, that was founded back in Medieval times and continued to exist almost to the present day, was based on the full participation of the farming families in the management of property. The first to benefit from this form of co-operation was fundamentally the land: over the centuries the tenant farmers and their families looked after the forests, vineyards, olive groves and the arable land as though they were their own property. Attention to every detail, maintenance of the buildings, cultivating the land while respecting environmental principles, criteria still respected by many farm estates in our area, make our territory a valuable natural and artistic treasure-trove.
This genteel word borrowed from our French cousins sums up and encloses all the correlations that are created between soil (fertility, physical-chemical composition, slope and profile) and climate (sun exposure, average temperatures, rainfall). The vineyards of Colognole are concentrated at an altitude between 230 and 450 metres above sea level. They are positioned on the slopes of Mount Giovi (990 metres in altitude) where the land is steep and washed by rain; in the course of the years, rich soil has tended to accumulate along the banks of the Sieve River, while the land further up the hill-side has remained of average consistency, with evident residues of skeleton (traces of rocky origin). The poverty of the soil is our greatest resource!! Thanks to this fact, our wines have a great elegance of structure (never excessively intrusive and heavy), with discreet but lingering tannins and a marked, aromatic, fruity note.
To get the Sangiovese grapes (prince of the Chianti vines) to ripen to perfection is the most difficult task: low temperatures, day/night differences in temperatures and frequent rain (read the climatic table in relationship to other Tuscan vine cultivating areas) oblige us to reduce the production per plant (about 1,200 Kg), to allow the latter to ripen prematurely. Today, our vineyards have been replanted according to scientific criteria (clone selections, careful choice of the rootstock, physical-chemical preparation of soil) and they have been positioned for optimum exposure to the sun (as we say here, "a solatio" or "in the sun"). Not only do grapes enjoy these agronomic characteristics but also all the crops that we grow here in Colognole are part of this structural framework; and, of course, things couldn't be different! Oil, another product that we are extremely proud of, is famous for its intense fruity component and its piquant flavour.
Even for this cultivation, the excellence of the final product (and it is not our opinion but that of others) depends on how and when the olives are picked (picking should start when the olives are not completely ripe) and on the pressing system, with temperatures strictly under 30° C. Consequently, even in this case, yield is very much reduced (on average 15 Kg of oil for every 100 Kg. of olives).