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CAPEZZANA: THE ROOTS OF CARMIGNANO DOCG, FIRST DOC OF THE WORLD

Aug 5, 2021

Today I will take you to discover the oldest denomination in the world, Carmignano.

«Anna, come and visit us in Capezzana, it’s a magical place» wrote Filippo Contini Bonaccossi. I don’t even need him to repeat it twice; the next day I’m already on my way.

In the heart of Tuscany, the Carmignano hills rise between Florence, Prato and Pistoia, creating a unique and colorful setting: green woods, olive groves, cypresses and lakes. A dynamic and sinuous landscape, which pleasantly intoxicates you at first glance.

Today, there are only 14 wineries that produce their wine in Carmignano.

Even the Etruscans and, later on, the Romans, understood that this territory is, in fact, the ideal place to cultivate vines and olive trees, whose numerous arechological finds indicate an incomparable vocation, including a parchment from the year 804 AD which documents a lease contract for the cultivation of vines and olive trees.

Tenuta di Capezzana has its roots, and those of its vineyards, in this land, rich with history.

It was Monna Nera Bonaccorsi who built the estate in 1475.

Numerous noble families followed one another, carrying out winemaking traditions and carefully documenting the Carmignano production regulations.

Caterina de Medici, a great cultivator of quality wine, had her beloved Uva Franca planted here (Cabernet Franc), which was blended with the very Tuscan Sangiovese, thus merging, for the first time, the Tuscan territory with the French one and giving life to the first of the famous Super Tuscans.

The similarities between Bordeaux and Carmignano are, in fact, not lacking, from the composition of the soil, rich in clay, silt, but also marl and alberese, to the similar latitude, such as the microclimate, with impressive temperature changes between night and day.

Like Bordeaux wines, Capezzana wines are wines that need the right wait and have the potential to develop their expressiveness in the best possible way after at least a decade.

Vittoria and Alessandro Contini Bonaccossi took over the estate in 1920; being art lovers and collectors, they manage to translate their passion into wine, starting the collection of a very precious historical archive.

In fact, in their intricate cellars, there are bottles produced since 1925.

To maintain an optimal state of preservation, these are periodically remixed and the cork replaced with care. Few places in the world allow such a profound tasting experience.

Special mention goes to the Vin Santo produced in this estate, made with San Colombano and Trebbiano Rosa grapes, a unique variety of this company, and aged for 6 years in wooden casks “which are never thrown away!” Beatrice Contini Bonaccossi, commercial director, tells me. In fact they are different from each other, some patched up, others exuding dense and fragrant vin santo, each of these giving a characteristic imprint to the wine.

«My sister Benedetta (the wine maker)» continues to recount Beatrice «in winter sleeps with the windows open, to perceive the variations in humidity that could potentially be harmful to the grapes being dried; if something doesn’t come back she jumps out of bed and runs to the vinsantaia to control the humidity.”

The love for wine and for Carmignano passes from generation to generation and all the members of the Contini Bonaccossi family find their vocation within the company, from the vineyard, to the cellar, to marketing and commercial development, taking care of each their own way, but with the same passion. The company has been certified as organic since 2015.

Filippo was right, Capezzana truly is a magical place.

 

Anna Paclet