I just had a chance to visit, Carus Vini, a relatively new winery (in the world of Italian wineries) located in San Casciano Val di Pesa, in Tuscany. I sat down with Pamela Bernini, the head of sales, to talk about the journey of Guido Carissimo. He’s the founder who is part of four generations of family members making wine in Campania and Puglia, but wanted to follow his own path in a new region to make Chianti Classico wines in the Terzona valley. He moved to Tuscany in 1997 and purchased the winery in 2011.
We were on a family vacation and my family had given me a little time to focus on wine. My friend, Steve Raye of Italian Wine Podcast, gave me a great recommendation to discover a family winery that hasn’t made it to Texas yet. June 2 was a holiday in Italy, but Pamela graciously hosted us.
In 2011, Guido brought tradition, a commitment to sustainability and a passion for doing things his own way by combining technology with family tradition. Carus Vini has 26 hectors with 13.5 dedicated to producing wine and 5.5 hectors for olive groves. They grow sangiovese used in Chianti Classico and syrah, merlot and cabernet used in Super Tuscan blends.
Pamela told me that the approach is a “harmony between agriculture and nature with a respect for the environment.”
The winery has been certified organic since the 2017 and follows the guidelines dictated by EC Regulation No. 834/2007 and EC Regulation No. 889/2008. More about the guidelines are here. Several vineyards were replanted and came in production in 2019 planted on calcareous hillsides. The production is low, but the crop is high quality due to the terroir, the temperatures and soils of the region.
Most of its vineyards were planted under the direction of the late Giacomo Tachis, the famous Italian oenologist who collaborated and launched Super Tuscans such as Sassicaia and Tignanello. And the winemaker is a woman, Gioia Cresti, who was elected as the best winemaker in 2015 in Japan.
The Wines We Tried
- 2016 Carus Vini Baldero Chianti Classico DOCG – This is a very drinkable wine. It’s a blend of sangiovese and a small percentage of merlot. I tasted raspberries, cherries, floral notes and a touch of vanilla. This is a heck of a deal at €13.50.
- 2015 Carus Vini Gàudio Chianti Classico Grand Selection DOCG – This is the reserve version using the best sangiovese grapes with a small addition of cabernet sauvignon. I tasted blackberry, spice, leather and cocoa. It’s a delicious wine.
- 2016 Carus Vini Tespero Toscana Rosso Syrah – a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This was another find with notes of blackberry, cassis, bacon and dark chocolate.
I’ve missed the discoveries of travel. Wineries that I’d never find otherwise and the gift of tasting these wines and telling the story. This was a great one and I look forward to many more to come.