Focus 50: Trip 16, Poliziano (Italy)
To mark Enotria&Coe’s 50th anniversary this year, we’re shining a light on 50 outstanding producers who have been instrumental to our company history. As part of our celebrations, members of the E&C team took a trip to Tuscany to experience the world of Focus 50 winemaker Frescobaldi first hand – here, they share their highlights.
Francesco Giardino – New Business Manager
Whether you work for a wine importer or not, Frescobaldi is a name you know. Visiting the producer was very surprising, because it went against some stereotypes about big wineries – especially the idea that big wineries do big numbers.
In reality, the Frescobaldi family has separate estates, and every estate has its own identity. When you go estate by estate, you notice that each one is treated as an individual winery, which is great to see. We visited three estates in total. First was Castello Pomino, where we slept in a small castle from the 1400s. It was a fantastic place, and you really felt at peace with nature. They make a sparkling wine called Leonia there, and we got to see the room where they store it. It was amazing to see the care that they have for their wines. The whole operation was way smaller than we all imagined.
Then we visited Castello Nipozzano, one of the most famous estates, where they have a castle with all the old vintages. When a member of the family either gets married or when a new child is born, they put away stock of that vintage, so they’ve got a huge reserve of private wines.
Finally, we visited Tenuta Perano, one of the newer estates the Frescobaldis have bought in the last few years. We went to see where they grow the grapes for the Chianto Classico, which was an amphitheatre of a vineyard. It was stunning.
At the end of a long day of visiting, dining at the Frescobaldi restaurant in Florence was fantastic. They are true hospitality champions – they’ve also got a restaurant in London. We had dinner on the terrace outside and were treated very well. The wines were the highlight of the dinner, of course. We tried the 2011 vintage of Brunello CastelGiocondo, which was amazing with the bistecca alla Fiorentina. We also had the chance to meet Lamberto Frescobaldi, the president of the business, which was a great experience.
Simon Higgins – Credit Controller
Dinner at Ristorante Frescobaldi was lovely. It’s in Florence in the Piazza della Signoria, which is very historic. There’s a replica of the statue of David there, and it was in this square that Savonarola held the bonfire of the vanities during the height of the Medicis. The weather was very balmy and warm, and we sat outside at the restaurant and basically had loads of shared courses and antipasti. It was absolutely delicious, and we met the charming Mr Frescobaldi and a couple of members from his team.
But my favourite part of the visit was seeing the extent of the vineyards. Frescobaldi has vineyards all over the place, including Pomino, the highest in Tuscany. It was just amazing to experience the range of different vineyards and conditions that the vines grow in and the wines they produce. One minute, you’re up in the mountains in a dark forest with sloping vineyards, and the next you’re down in the valleys, where everything’s a bit flatter. It was extremely varied, and quite the privilege to get to see the full range of what they do.
Our wine pick
|Elegant, with aromas of cherries and strawberries. The palate offers violet, clove and black pepper, with elegance and silky-smooth tannins. Long finish.