The best vineyards in Tuscany, with the deep roots of fashion

Wine is made in almost every corner of Italy, but Tuscany stands out: although it only creates 5% of the country’s volume, it accounts for 10% of the industry’s value.

Simply put, his vineyards specialize in premium cellar-ready red wines, and not just table flan. It’s no wonder the fash-pack loves them so much.

The reigning god of geek-chic, Alessandro Michele, was born in Rome, but as the chef of Gucci, based in Florence, he embraced his adopted Tuscan home with enthusiasm.

Michele began to name a few selected places around the world like Gucci Places, must-see stops that capture his brand’s distinctive vibe; use an app to register at one of its locations and you’ll earn a unique Gucci badge.

The closest to the HQ is the Chianti Castello Sonnino vineyard, about 12 miles south of Florence. More than a quarter of Renzis Sonnino’s family estate is planted with vines, mainly traditional Chianti grape varieties such as sangiovese and canaiolo; the best of the first is reserved for Cantinino, the pride of family production. Bonus: there are rooms available if you decide you’d rather drink a little more in the family cellars instead of returning to Florence at the end of the day.

The Chianti-focused Castello Sonnino outside Florence is honored as the official Gucci venue.
Sonnino Castle
The patio of Podernuovo.
The 50-acre Podernuovo is located near Siena and was taken over by Giovanni Bulgari 17 years ago.

This is not the only trendy vineyard in the region. Seventeen years ago, Giovanni Bulgari seized a 50-acre estate in southern Tuscany, closer to Siena, named Podernuovo. In 2009, the vineyard’s first Bulgari-approved vintages debuted – and soon after, the family sold their majority stake in their namesake business to luxury conglomerate LVMH.

Now, they’re focused on winemaking, although you have to squint to spot the link on any label, as the family is deliberately keeping their involvement low-key. Cleverly, the Bulgarians brought in Riccardo Cotarella, a winemaker nicknamed “Il Mago” (“The Magician”) to oversee the production here. The elegant concrete vineyard, designed by Venice-based Alvisi Kirimoto, relies in part on geothermal energy as an energy source – a nod to the region’s reputation for hot springs.

Meanwhile, two branches of the Florence-based Ferragamo family own separate vineyards in the area. Il Borro, a 2,700-acre estate that once belonged to the Medici, is now a hotel, riding stable, and winemaking center, after Ferruccio Ferragamo bought it in 1993.

Aerial view of Il Borro.
Il Boro – a wine cellar, an equestrian center and a hotel – was bought by Massimo’s brother, Ferruccio Ferragamo, almost three decades ago.
Il Borro

The star here isn’t a Chianti – it’s the Valdarno Valley between Florence and Arezzo, after all – but bottles of Alessandro Dal Borro, an all-Syrah beauty that costs around $ 350 in the US and carries the name of one of Italy’s historic foodies.

Ferruccio’s brother, Massimo, was not to be outdone: ten years later, he seized an even larger piece of land, the 4,300-acre Castiglion del Bosco. Come here to taste one of his three superb Brunellos, learn to cook at his on-site school or play a round of golf on the championship course designed by Tom Weiskopf.

The interior of Castiglion del Bosco.
Castiglion del Bosco in the Valdarno Valley was captured by Massimo Ferragamo in 2003.
Castiglion del Bosco

Finally, the interests of the Antinori family rest entirely on winemaking – they have been the main producers here since the 14th century and played a fundamental role in the emergence of super Tuscan wines adjacent to the coast in the 1970s, mainly via their the most famous wine, Tignanello, a blend with a high Sangiovese content.

But the chic family also has strong ties to the fashion and jewelry world – Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Gioielleria line was presented last year at its Chianti Classico vineyard at an exclusive private event. The jewelry was not only displayed in display cases, but also on custom designed scarecrows studded with diamonds and half hidden among the vines.

-Marc Ellwood

Grapes that shine: Pour a touch of couture with these avant-garde bottles

Milan may be the heart of the famous Italian style scene, but it’s the misty, rolling hills of Tuscany where Italian wine steals the show.

Tuscan winemakers have had nearly 3,000 years to perfect their strut, having first planted vines in the 8th century BC.

In the 1960s, the region was the site of another superior wine honor: Italy’s first DOC appellations, for Chianti and Vernaccia.

So what happens when you combine the best of Italian compresses with its couture crowd?

Pop those tall bottles to find out.

Carratelli Pianirossi Solus 2016 ($ 39)

A bottle of Solus wine.
Take a berry, Merry Christmas with a glass of Fruity Solus from Pianirossi.
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The beautiful Maremma in southern Tuscany has long been known as the Italian Far West, but today it is home to some of the best bottles in the country.

Pianirossi’s roots here go back over 30 years, when its owner (and former CEO of Tod’s) Stefano Sincini was betting on grapes in what was then lesser-known wine-growing land.

The bet paid off. His 40-acre estate produces magnificent wines like Solus: a blend of 60 percent Sangiovese and 40 percent Montepulciano, whose concentrated hue of amaranth evokes flavors of ripe, store-fresh berries.

Castiglion del Bosco Petruna Anfora Valdarno di Sopra DOC 2018 ($ 65)

A bottle of Petruna wine.
The secular secret of this famous red lies in the ambient yeasts in terracotta amphorae.
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The Ferragamo family restored this 800-year-old Tuscan estate in 2003, turning crumbling buildings into luxury excavations.

Aiming for a negative carbon footprint, Salvatore Ferragamo has adopted a low-intervention methodology for its wines, such as Petruna Anfora.

This 100 percent Sangiovese is fermented on ambient yeast in an earthenware amphora (a nod to old traditions), revealing an alert liveliness of this classic red, bursting with cherries, plum, orange zest. and violet notes.

Podernuovo a Palazzone Nicoleo 2019 ($ 47)

A bottle of Nicoleo wine.
Don’t sleep on Tuscan whites like this Nicoleo Chardonnay.
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While Tuscany is most often synonymous with red wines, the region’s whites are also must-haves and deserve to be sought after.

Example: the Nicoleo 2019, named after the sons of chic winemaker Giovanni Bulgari, Nico and Leone.

This combo of traditional regional grechetto and less traditional chardonnay stands out for its complexity and rich texture, as well as lovely notes of citrus and stone fruit, accented by aromas of honey and almonds.

Villa Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva 2018 ($ 30)

A bottle of Antinori wine.
Thyme, eucalyptus and liquorice are found in the cherry chianti from Villa Antinori.
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The site of a chic Dolce & Gabbana event last year, this winery’s medium-bodied Chianti Classico is an icon of the category – no surprise, given that it debuted in 1928.

The 2018 vintage is made almost entirely of Sangiovese, with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon, adding structure and a soft but firm grip to the tannins of this bright, cherry-scented and juicy beauty.

It is embellished with notes of thyme, eucalyptus and licorice, with just a hint of vanilla on the finish.

– Amy Zavatto

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