The splendid Villa of Medicea of Lilliano, located in the hills of the Chianti at only a few kilometres from downtown Florence, is the ideal location for presenting ceremonies, business meetings and events that speak of elegance and appreciation for the significant wine and extra virgin olive oil production that is cultivated from the surrounding land. Passion is the driving force allowing the Malenchini family, owners of the Villa for more than two centuries, to foster the value of the cultural and agricultural legacy.
History of the Villa Medicea di Lilliano begins around the XI century, as a look-out tower, but was more precisely noted for its beginning in the XV century. During this period the Villa belonged to the Gianelli family under the emblem of Ferza and afterwards in 1480 became the property of the Guiducci and then finally the Capponi family. In 1646 the Villa was purchased from the Grand Duke Ferdinando II of the Medici, thus becoming a part of the Villa Reale di Lapeggi (the Royal Villa of Lapeggi) named the "Ristretto della Fattoria di Lapeggi". The Villa of Lilliano, at the time named "Il Palazzo della Fattoria", was initially used as a simple farm house for the neighbouring Villa of Lapeggi. In 1667 it was assigned from the Grand Duke of Toscano Cosimo III to his brother Cardinal Francesco Maria of Medici, in which restorations began under the guidance of the architect Ferri. In this period the villa underwent restructuring and extentions which to this day owes its present design, decorated with fountains, baths, vases and lemon plants. The villa, transformed from the simple farm house to a country home in every way, entertained renowned guests including in 1709 the King of Denmark Frederick IV. In 1709, as desired by the Grand Duke of Cosimo III, Cardinal Francesco Maria married Eleonora di Guastalla in the end to ensure a descendent of the Medici family was not on its way to becoming extinct, but the Cardinal died in 1711 without any heirs and his assets were sold to pay the debts. After various owners, in 1830 the Villa of Lilliano was bought by the Malenchini family. The main façade lies south in a very simple sixteenth design and is enclosed by two small towers preceded by a garden of water lilies. The prestigious fountain with statues was designed by the architect Foggini and is the twin of the more famous fountain located in the Boboli Gardens in Florence. On the left side of the garden is the lemon orchard. From the interior courtyard of the Villa, decorated by a circular central bath, there are two large symmetrical stairwells that lead up to the splendid terrace that directly faces Florence. The terrace opens into a large room that at one time was used as a granary or barn. Under the Villa, which is also a part of the Malenchini estate, can be found the cellar and the "orciaia", with the ancient jars pertaining from the kilns of Impruneta and Belmonte.
Located in the heart of the "Chianti Colli Fiorentini", the estate is run by Diletta Malenchini together with agronomist and oenologist Stefano Porcinai. Of the 70 hectares of property that surround the Villa Medicea di Lilliano, 17 hectares are cultivated with vineyards and 42 with olive trees. The estate is managed with high respect for the environment, by applying methods of "reduction" of treatments and fertilizers. The types of vines cultivated are Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The olive tree terrain has about 12.000 trees, the main varieties being Frantoio, Pendolino, Moraiolo and Leccino. The olive gathering is done tradionally by hand and the olives are pressed using cold extraction methods within 24 hours of harvesting.
The winemaking vocation of the Malencini Estate is older than 100 years: in the 70 hectares of vineyards in the heart of Chianti, the Estate cultivates grapes for the production of Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, of "supertuscan" Bruzzico, Vin Santo del Chianti and the Olive Oil. Passion and resolve, coupled with an accure control over the "matter" are the basis for the high quality of our products, keeping up with the best Tuscany tradition.
‹‹ ...the Malenchini family, owner of the Estate for more than two centuries, with Diletta at the helm, coordinating all the operations in the vineyards and oliveyards. Great attention is given to the safeguarding of the territory and respect for the environment. Of all the wines, the one that was more convincing to us is the Bruzzico 2005, a blend of cabernet and sangiovese, with a great aromatic structure, ranging from fruity to spicy elements, with some insert of external notes, such as tobacco. In the mouth is sapid, tasty, rich, with firm and diffused tannins, for a enjoyable persitency in the finish. Fresh and attractive is also the Chianti Colli Fiorentini 2006, more snappy and tasty. Simple but sweet and pleasant is the Vin Santo dei Colli Fiorentini 2000. ››
Gambero Rosso Italy Wines, 2009