Villa la Ripa is a magnificent Renaissance Villa built on the hill of Pecognano where once there used to be a large Etruscan Roman Villa. The first known landowner of those lands was called Marco Peconio (second century a.C.), whose name comes from Pacho, the name of the God of Wine, Bacchus in Etruscan. Still today, in the Etruscan museum of Arezzo you can admire the jars and amphoras where Marco Peconio used to keep wine and olive oil. One thousand years later, when Piero della Francesca painted in frescos the story of the real Holy Cross in Saint Frances Basilica in Arezzo, the Villa was owned by the Ricoveris who had put up a fortified palace with a tower, still existing today. The real villa was built during the middle of the Renaissance Period by the Gualtieris, a well known family of poets, cardinals and vine-growers.
In the nineteenth century, Napoleon's troops invaded the town of Arezzo , so both the land and the estate were seized and sold at auction. The villa was bought by the Ubertinis, a large noble family from Arezzo. The most well known member of this family was Guglielmo of the Ubertinis, Arezzo-leader of troops during the big battle of Campaldino. At the beginning of the twentieth century the villa was owned by the Bucchis who went on and developed further the culture of olive oil and wine, by planting the older vineyard ever existed in Villa la Ripa. Saverio , Adriana and Claudia Luzzi the present owners, bought the estate at the beginning of the 90's. Since then they have restored the villa, looked after the olive trees and vineyards, planted new vines, in order to produce an excellent wine coming from our Tuscan land.
The winery is the place from which we get the fragrance and vitality of the land, the microclimate and the grapes in order to have them concentrated into a single bottle of wine. In the wine-cellar the men can choose the wine-making process according to various conditions, and it's right in the wine cellar that their intelligence meets together with the many gifts coming from nature. That's why the wine cellar is always rich in both poetry and technical methods. In Villa la Ripa , we use French wooden barrels together with the most modern stainless steel equipment.
Since the Renaissance period, our land has been well-known for its excellent wines. After a dark degrading period of standardisation of agriculture, many farms in the area have started producing very high quality wines. The farm of Manzano producing its well-known Shiraz (the best red wine according to the Whine Spectator), the Farm of Petriolo producing its Golatrone, Borghini farm producing its Armaiolo, Setteponti farm producing the Crognolo and so on. Though, you don't come to Arezzo just for the excellent wine! You might come and admire Piero della Francesca's frescoes, the big Cimabue's Cross, and the paintings of Vasari, or just enjoy Arezzo 's enchanting historical town centre. Not to mention the famous antique Fair (the only Italian fair taking place on the first weekend every month), the "Giostra del Saracino", the vast woods of the natural park in Casentino and the charming Camaldoli's Hermitage.
Our vineyards are located south-west in the Chianti area, on a slope where the soil is medium texture. The vineyards' location is between two streams and it is rather windy. The oldest vineyard , planted at least 50 years ago, presents the traditional variety of Sangiovese, Canaiola, Trebbiano, Malvasia and curiously enough even Grechetto. The vines have been planted two metres apart from each other, while the vine-rows are three metres apart. This type of space seems enormous nowadays , though this was the traditional planting method of Tuscan vineyards in the ancient times. We have made any effort to in order to preserve the originality of this vineyard. The new vineyards have a completely different kind of planting; 80 centimetre-space between each vine and 220 centimetre-space among rows of vines (Merlot, Cabernet-Sanvigno, Shiraz , Chardonnay).
This different planting method is meant to produce two types of wine; a traditional classic wine, similar to Chianti, and a more modern wine, similar to Grandi Supertuscan wines.