Not content with expanding their range of wines locally, the Paladin family (Annone Veneto), makers of our perennial favourite Prosecco, bought an estate in Tuscany, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region and have converted part of it into a luxury hotel.
The heavily fortified Castelvecchi was built in 1043 at the convergence of several ancient roads between Florence and Siena. It was a time of constant friction between local nobles and later developed into intense rivalry between the two larger city states.
The vineyards are Castelvecchi (on the estate) and Colle Petrosi which, at 560m above sea level, are among the highest (and coolest at night) in the whole Chianti region. These two vineyards were originally planted between 1300-1400. Today’s vines average over 50 years old.
The Paladins have been working with one of Italy’s top enologists, Franco Bernabei, since 1999. Bernabei, probably best known for his work with several high visibility Tuscan estates and wines such as Flaccianello, brings some of his trademark sleek, polished elegance to today’s Castelvecchi’s wines.
Capotondo (Round Head) is a classic Chianti Classico blend of Sangiovese with a splash of Canaiolo.