Nestled into the hills of Chianti is a magical place called Vignamaggio. The name has nothing to do with the month of May (Maggio in Italian), but is rather a direct reference to its prominence as a vineyard (vigna) that is the best (maggiore). Lucky me that I got to visit it on a balmy June evening.
Every detail is curated to perfection, from the rose-colored villa, to its gardens, to its sumptuous dining areas. And the wine… well, let’s just say, the touch of Bordeaux is evident, since in addition to what you might expect – Sangiovese – you will find Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and maybe even some Petit Verdot! It may be Chianti, but it is not so Classico as you might think.
The manicured gardens are complemented by the cleanliness of the cellar itself. Our fabulous guide, Stefano Bernabei, explained the company’s high tech approach: they use an optical selector that originally was used for selecting coffee beans to get just the right fruit.
The philosophy seems to be that the difference is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar. Only the finest raw material is going into the Vignamaggio wines.
Lots of use of traditional cement could be found, from the innovative eggs, to more traditional square vats. Cement is more stable than steel, and everyone is moving away from wood, as we know.
The vistas were enchanting; this is the area just beyond Greve and before Panzano. Talk about terroir! This is right near the Conca d’Oro of Chianti, one of the best valleys.
Not only do they have hospitality, food, wine, but the philosophy is slow food-oriented, offering a full experience of a farm, with organic homegrown produce that is the perfect pairing for the delicious wine.
The dinner we enjoyed was elegant, simple, perfectly paired.
And then the wine…
Breakfast in a welcoming atmosphere certainly puts the right spin on the day.
One more jaunt around the grounds before I go, and… admiring the gardens, I had the feeling that I might have seen them before.
And indeed I had – in Kenneth Branagh’s fun Shakespearian romp, Much Ado About Nothing (1993)!
After my visit, I think I would call it… A Midsummer Night’s Dream!