I’ve traveled throughout the wine world and few places have enchanted me the way Volpaia and the people there have.
The hilltop hamlet is magical. The 11th century piazza is composed of a church, a cafe and a the Castello di Volpaia tasting room which was closed when I arrived. That’s it.
I wander up the road another 50 or so meters to find a smaller, older piazza consisting of not much more than yet another church, a small well and an iron gate.
With no signs, I have no idea where to go so I throw caution to the wind and enter the gate. Sitting in the manicured garden under the warm spring Tuscan sun I meet Giovannella Stianti. Tall, grey haired and elegant, Giovannella introduces herself to me and warmly welcomes me into her home. All of the walls inside the ancient building are lined with beautiful books. Gio explains that her father was a book binder and this was his work.
After lunch Gio takes me on a wonderful tour of the village and winery within. The modern winery is built into the building of the 11th century with pipes running underground connecting one production area to the next. Already enchanted with both the place and Giovannella, I then sat down to record this episode with Federica Mascheroni Stianti, Gio’s daughter, who now runs the family business. As charming as her mother, Federica and I talk about what makes wine from Radda unique, the controversy behind gran selezione classification, and of course we taste some delicious wines.
If you travel to Chianti Classico a visit to Castello di Volpaia is not to be missed.
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Federica Mascheroni Stianti, Castello de Volpaia
2016 Volpaia Chianti Classico
Alluring aroma of lavender and complex perfume. On the palate flavors of bright fresh cherries chocolate, lavander candies and leather. Silky body, great balance and a long complex finish make this wine lovely to drink with or without a meal. This is an example of the huge value offered by Chianti Classico. One of the best sub $20 wines I have even tasted.
2016 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva
While you may be searching for the 2015 vintage, which garnered Wine Spectator #3 Wine of 2018 don’t bother. The 2016 picks up where the 2015 left off. Deep complex aromas of black cherry, tobacco and spice box let you know that this is a serious wine. On the palate beautiful fruit, grippy tannin, and forward acidity make the structure of this wine something you want in your cellar. Drink now through the next 20 years.
2015 Castello di Volpaia Coltassala Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
Pretty nose full of fresh violet, red licorice, coffee and vanilla along with a distinct minerality. Elegant texture with flavors showing black cherry, dark berries, plum, play harmoniously with grippy tannin and forward acidity. Structured to age for decades but drinks beautifully now.