Just back from a long weekend in Florence and discovered two new things about my favorite winery, Fonterutoli, owned by the Mazzei family in Chianti, Italy.

While hanging out in our fabulous hotel bar at Hotel degli Orafi overlooking the Palazzo Vecchio and Duomo, I picked up a cool new wine coffee table book they had about Tuscany wineries.  The Mazzei family, along with other notables of the region, had a 4 page spread with background information.  Apparently Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia (where I attended), was inspired by Filippo Mazzei and called him to Virginia to determine the lands potential for cultivating wine.  How cool!

Also I found a fabulous new wine from the winery…Ser Lapo, 2006 Chianti Classico Reserva.  Just available on the market for the first time in June 2009 it celebrates another cool fact about the winery.

Ser Lapo 2006 Chianti Classic Riserva

“With this outstanding Chianti Classico, the Mazzei, proprietors of Castello di Fonterutoli since 1435, celebrate their notable ancestor Ser Lapo, author of the first official document mentioning “Chianti wine”.”

[…]on this day December 16th (1398) 3 florins, 26 soldi and 8 denari shall be given to Piero di Tino di Riccio for 6 barrels of Chianti wine […]; […] the aforementioned we pay by written letter of Sir Lapo Mazzei”

90% Sangiovese (as most Chianti’s are), 10% Merlot this wine was grown on vineyards 7-20 years old and hand picked in September 2006.  Aged in small french oak barrels for 12 months, only 80,000 bottles were produced.  It has a lovely strawberry spice aroma and the taste is soft yet complex bright with berry and rich with spice. Delicious!

Also check out my post about their Siepi wine and Enoteca in Chianti for more information about them.