Castellare di Castellina was born of the union of four estates (Castellare, Caselle, San Niccolò and Le Case) on the initiative of Paolo Panerai, with the aim of producing wine of the best possible quality. This was in the 1970s, when the so-called Renaissance of Italian wine had begun. A Renaissance to which Castellare made its own contribution with a combination of tradition and innovation. Tradition in caring for its vineyards and terrains, distinguishing between fields and sodi (in which fields are the more easily worked terrains and sodi – “hard” soils – are the hardest but the best for growing vines), in its decision to continue producing wine according to the Tuscan method, and in its respect of the Chianti Classico denomination – only using indigenous Tuscan grape varieties to produce a wine that is internationally acknowledged as one of the greatest reds in the world.
Innovation was pursued first of all with the creation of the first experimental vineyard in the Chianti region together with the University of Milan – directed by Professor Attilio Scienza – and the University of Florence, implementing the first scientific selection of Sangiovese clones (here called Sangioveto). And then by introducing the use of the barrique, following the in-depth research and advice of Emile Peynaud, the most renowned oenologist in living memory, as well as by paying constant attention to each ongoing wine-making process in the incessant, ever-evolving work of producing quality wines. This is a story that demonstrates how tradition, also in the installations, and innovation can draw the best out of the land, showing the younger generations how the hard work and lives of the Mezzadri – the people who once ran the estates as neither owners nor labourers – has been fundamental in shaping the extraordinary landscape of the Chianti.
We visited the winery in 2017. A wonderful farm-like winery, build with respect to the environment, perfectly implemented to the surrounding hills. The owners accepted us for a tour and tasting, and shared a few hidden secrets with us. A most memorable experience, including one of the best tastings in the region of Chianti.