“Not surprisingly, there are dozens if not hundreds of [Chianti Classico] estates, some of them prefixed by Castello (castle), making good wine. The most common wine fault – indeed one of the few you are likely to encounter here – is over-oaking, a mistake that only the rich can afford. Some of the better estates include Badia di Coltibuono, Castello di Ama, Castell’in Villa, Fattoria di Felsina, Fonterutoli, Fontodi, Isola e Olena, Fattoria di Montevertine, Il Poggio, Castello di Querceto, Querciabella, Castello di Rampolla, Riecine, San Giusto a Rentennano, San Polo in Rosso, Vicchiomaggio and Castello di Volpaia.” – Jancis Robinson on Chianti Classico’s Best Estates, JancisRobinson.com
According to owner Giovannella Stianti, her property is the highest estate in Chianti Classico. The well-exposed, high-altitude vineyards have a growing season that is as much as two weeks longer than that of others in the region. Stianti bought the estate, an entire hilltop village, including the ancient castle and surrounding medieval buildings, in 1966. Extensive cellars now run beneath the old stone courtyards. Temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks fill the ancient buildings. From the exterior, all is tranquil, nothing has been disturbed. This same care and respect is given to creating the wine. Under the guidance of oenologist Maurizio Castelli, the Volpaia wines have become some of the best in the Chianti Classico zone.
“Volpaia is simply a magical place. For the charm of the hamlet, of course, but mostly because everything there has always revolved around wine production: the narrow lanes, the deconsecrated church and everyone living there, not to mention the fantastic underground ‘vinoduct’. It is a terrific accomplishment for the Mascheroni Stianti family that their endeavour is so successful in a challenging area for Chianti Classico production, since vines here are at elevation reaching 500 metres. The wines are flawless, thanks to up-to-date practices and to their enchanting terroir.” – Gambero Rosso, 2010