Several years ago, on my way to Vinitaly, I opened my Wine Spectator and read an article about how Massimo Ferragamo found his way to Castiglion del Bosco and fell in the love with the property. Castiglion del Bosco is an 800-year old estate with a castle, part of which is still standing, that dates to around 1100 A.D. The estate was home for Noble Sienese families and farming was the industry. In 1967, the winery was a founding member of the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium, and was one of the first wineries to achieve DOC and DOCG status. Over time, it slipped into disarray.
In 2003, Massimo purchased the property and dedicated years to restoring the historic property, building a winery and planting organic crops while keeping the dense woodlands that make up the Val d’Orcia nature reserve intact. He wanted to renew both the architecture and the winemaking. He build the winery in 2004 and brought on Winemaker Cecilia Leoneschi to make excellent wines.
I loved his quote about “love at first sight” in finding the estate:
“I arrived at Castiglion del Bosco one cool, sunny morning in 2001. I was so incredibly moved by the limitless views, by the scenery that can only be found in the Val d’Orcia: I had no idea that such a beautiful corner of Tuscany still existed. It was love at first sight.” – Massimo Ferragamo
I am a shoe girl and I have luxury brand tastes. I remember going to the OperaWine event at Vinitaly and seeking out these wines. I was impressed. When I knew my husband and I decided to visit Italy, I reached out immediately.
Gemma Grieco, PR and Communications for Castiglion del Bosco
We were hosted by the very knowledgeable Gemma Grieco in PR and Communication, who I think to this day is my husband’s favorite wine host ever. It was evident that she was a perfect wine educator — passionate, had great expertise and was a great brand ambassador.
Castiglion del Bosco is raising money to help its counterparts in Napa after the fires
She took us on the signature wine tour, which was divided into three parts: a visit to the Capanna Vineyard, a tour of the winery and a tasting. Capanna is the estate’s signature vineyard, a single parcel of green that is dedicated for Brunelllo production, including the upper echelon Campo del Drago. The terroir is Galestro rock, which makes the vines work hard for water with high wind exposure. The estate of Castiglion del Bosco grows only Sangiovese, and its entire line of wines is an expression of the two denominations – three different Brunellos and Rosso di Montalcino. In addition, Prima Pietra, the second vineyard property of Massimo Ferragamo, lies in Riparbella, on the Tuscan coast, with 27 acres of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. Both properties are farmed organically.
The name of the winery is descriptive — the bosco, (wood) surrounds the Castiglion (walled castle). We returned to the winery and toured the exquisite grounds. The two floor, state-of-the-art winery blends with the trees surrounding it. The grapes are gravity-trained and the winery uses French oak casks and barriques. The aging process is between 6 and 36 months before release depending on the wine.
A Member Locker Featuring Wines from the Estate
We also toured the Members’ Cellar, where lifelong lockers can be purchased not only for the wines of the estate, but for all wines, meant to be shared in the clubby private room. Private events and tastings are held at the winery and in key cities throughout the year.
We then tasted through several delicious wines:
- 2017 Castiglion del Bosco Toscana Chardonnay – citrus, white flowers, grapefruit, pear and creamy. This was an elegant and well balanced Old World Chardonnay.
- 2015 Castiglion del Bosco Gauggiole Rosso Di Montalcino – black cherry, dark chocolate, tobacco, herbs and spice. Very drinkable.
- 2013 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello Di Montalcino – rose petal, cherry, violet, tobacco, spice, plum and blackberry. A great Brunello!
- 2012 Castiglion del Bosco Millecento Brunello De Montalcino Riserva 2012 – wonderful and complex. Notes of cherry, plum, tobacco, oak, team, herbs and plum. A greater Brunelli!
- 2015 Castiglion del Bosco Prima Pietra – Wild berry, spice, plum, black cherry, exotic and complex.
- 2014 Castiglion del Bosco Prima Pietra – a little subtler. Could taste berry, but more refined. Chocolate, herbs, spice, cassis and elegant.
We then had the chance to have a blind tasting of the 2007 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello Di Montalcino, which my husband completely nailed the year (I guessed 2009). We also had cheeses, bread, homemade extra virgin olive oil, homemade cold cuts and honey.
We also passed the luxury, 23-suite, five-star resort, now managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts along with the only private golf club in Italy designed by British Open Winner Tom Weiskopf.
Clearly, the winery and estate are an expression of luxury, but Gemma made us feel as a welcome guest. I highly recommend adding this as a destination to any Tuscan wine trip.