Two years after discovering this remarkable winery and its delicious wines, Siepi from Castello di Fonterutoli still reigns as my favorite red.
It was a chance stop on our Autumn 2006 trip to Tuscany … we were exploring Chianti for several days and still hadn’t picked up any olive oil to take home. Thomas Cook’s Drive Around Tuscany & Umbria claimed the Mazzei family wine estate in the village of Fonterutoli has some of the best. So per the book we drove past Castellina in Chianti looking for the village. Before we knew it we drove right through it… blink and you’ll miss it…its that tiny. We wound up driving through a field trying to follow the map back.
What a pleasant surprise… not for olive oil but for a full wine experience. As we pulled out of the field and re-entered the village, we saw the Enoteca de Fonterutoli sign on the right so we parked across the street. There were no other cars in the gravel lot but there was a tour bus… a potential red flag …we ventured past their new restaurant and across the street to the Enoteca (wine bar).
Leonardo, one of the hosts, was closing the Enoteca as we approached. He was about to take the bus tour group on an English tour of the winery and invited us to go along. What timing!!
This was our 3rd winery tour of the trip and by far the most authentic. This cute little town is 80% occupied by the Fonterutoli winery which explains why were walking into what looked like old houses that were actually cellars for barrels of wines.
After Leonardo’s interesting tour including a view of the new facilities (which are now open) we were back in the Enoteca with Leonardo and the tour group was boarding their bus. We had the tasting bar to ourselves and tasted a full flight of wine in their incredible new tasting bar for only 8 Euro.
My favorite… Siepi! Siepi is an award winning wine 50% Merlot and 50% Sangiovese … elegant, cherry, smooth.. perfect for a special occasion or splurge (as it is the most expensive wine I’ve ever purchased other than the 3 bottles of Dom I’ve bought in my life). This wine really makes you understand the great things that can be done with grapes!
Visit their site for all the winery details including the restaurants and even accommodations…
Definitely worth a stop when you’re in Tuscany the Mazzei family has owned the winery since 1435!