Villa Vignamaggio sits on the Florence to Siena route with views across olive groves and cypress trees in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in Petriolo very close to Greve in Chianti and was a quick drive from our base at Villa Bordoni.
The House which has an ornate and formal garden is allegedly the birthplace of Mona Lisa Gherardini who later became Lisa del Giocondo and is reputed to have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa in 1503-1506. The church where supposedly he painted can be seen from the Villa. Villa Vignamaggio was also the setting for the 1993 adaption of “Much Ado about Nothing”. The garden was inspired by Italian Renaissance gardens and was intended to link the forest and the house via an avenue of Cypresses. The terra cotta statues represent the four seasons and are draped with roses.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch and wine tasting and tour of the gardens, and wine cellars. Fabulous meal and wine!
I am going to let them tell you their story in their own words since I cannot say it better!
“A wine farm for over 600 years, Vignamaggio today offers first class accommodation in rooms and apartments, guided tours of its Italian Style gardens and the opportunity to taste the farm’s produce in its restaurant, Monna Lisa.
Half way between Florence and Siena, the estate extends for over 200 hectares in the hills of the Chianti Classico region.
Vignamaggio overlooks a countryside landscape, of forests, vineyards and ancient hamlets scattered about on the surrounding hills.
At the core of the farm is the Renaissance villa, surrounded by Italian style gardens, which fill the spaces between rows of cypresses, vines and olive trees.
On all sides, forest mingles with farmland, where for hundreds of years, farmhands have been working the land. At the edge of the forest or among the vineyards, one can glimpse ancient stone farmhouses, once the homes of the sharecroppers.
As the seasons change, the shapes and colours of Vignamaggio transform.
Tart forest fragrances permeate the fresh air of spring sunrises, sunsets warm the sky after summer storms, all merging with the distinctive pink of the villa. Winter slowly wraps the estate in a calm silence, as snow blankets the vineyards.
A working farm since 1404, Vignamaggio has been cultivating the vines and producing wine for over 600 years.
Open to the public since 1987, the historical dwelling offers first class accommodation with rooms, suites and apartments in the estate’s farmhouses.”
CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE “RISERVA DI MONNA LISA”
THE WINE IS A DEEP RUBY RED COLOUR. THE AROMA IS VERY INTENSE, PERSISTENT, DELICATE AND FULL-BODIED, WITH HINTS OF OAK AND BERRIES. A FULL, LONG, WARM MOUTH FEEL.
Vignamaggio is traditionally the birthplace of Monna Lisa Gherardini, the “Gioconda” painted by Leonardo da Vinci. This wine is dedicated to this noblewoman in his portrait.
The Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is only produced in the best vintage years, with grapes from the farm’s prime south west grape growing areas. It is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the first ten days of October, the grapes destined for this wine are carefully sorted, first in the vineyard and then on sorting belts in the cellar. The juice remains on the skins for 16-18 days after which racking takes place. Once malolactic fermentation has occurred, the wine is aged, first in small French oak barrels for 18-20 months and then in larger barrels. The minimum aging period is 30 months, at least 3 of which are in the bottle.
Are you enjoying our tour through Italy? Love to hear your comments! If you missed the Blogs on Venice, (2 part series) Florence, (5 part series) Amalfi Coast (5 part series plus Pompeii) or Puglia (5 part series on the cities in that region) you can always go back and read them. There are also blogs on Antinori Vineyards and Villa Bordoni in Chianti. All blogs are archived and can be sorted by subject. Next up how about Siena? See you soon!