One of our most memorable winery visits in Tuscany was to Castello di Cacchiano.
The warmth of our welcome was matched only by the centuries of history of the castle and the family who have owned it for many generations.
There is evidence that the origins of the castle date back to the Roman Empire, from the many archaeological finds in this area, Gaiole in Chianti, though it was founded in the 10th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, the castle was crucial in defending Florence, along with neighbouring Castello di Brolio, against the Sienese. It became a villa and farm in the 16th century, in the hands of the Ricasoli family who are still in ownership after more than 1,000 years.
Baron Bettino Ricasoli, Prime Minister of Italy after Italian unification and an ancestor of the current owner, Giovanni Ricasoli-Firidolfi, created the modern recipe for Chianti wine in 1872, comprising 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia Bianca. Now Castello di Cacchiano has 32 acres under vine and around 5,000 olive trees producing "Olio Chianti Classico D.O.P”, pure, extra virgin olive oil.
We were treated to a tour of the Castello, where we could see their eight 1,220 Litre concrete tanks and the 11th century cellar, which only varies in temperature from 10-14º C from winter to summer as opposed to the 40º C difference outside.
Everything is done by hand at Castello di Cacchiano, and we were honoured to start our tasting with one of the last four bottles in existence of Spumante Rosé 2009, the Castello’s latest innovation. Made from 100% Sangiovese, this sparkling wine is made in the Traditional Method and has a delicate perlage. It is the colour of Atlantic salmon, due to almost no skin contact, and spends 13 months fermenting in the bottle. With a flavour of strawberry leaves, the wine is fruity and lively with a good mouth-watering acidity. It would be ideal with seared tuna, salumi and many other appetizer dishes.
Click here to read about the other Castello di Cacchiano wines we tasted.