The Association of Winemakers in Castellina in Chianti Recounts its 20 Years Through Armando Castagno’s Book

In celebration of the 20th year anniversary of the Association of Winemakers in Castellina in Chianti, the association entrusted to Armando Castagno, one of Italy's well-respected wine professionals, the task of interviewing all 37 wine producers, recounting their stories, their wines and their valued territory, a part of the splendid Chianti Classico area, through a book entitled "Castellina in Chianti - Territorio, Vino, Persone”.

As part of the association's tour, the first stop of the presentation of the book and tasting of wines of the 37 producers was held in Rome at Beef Bazaar Restaurant on 22 February 2023. The talk was conducted by wine expert and writer, Giampaolo Gravina, along with the presence of Enrico Pozzesi, President of the Association of Winemakers in Castellina in Chianti, and Marcello Bonechi, Mayor of Castellina in Chianti. The event, open to the people of the wine sector, was organized by ZedComm.

"The producers of Castellina in Chianti," explained Enrico Pozzesi, "have long felt the need to start a common path in an attempt to promote the area and enhance the extraordinary wines and image of Castellina. Hence the idea of entrusting Armando Castagno with the task of telling about us."

Armando Castagno and Enrico Pozzesi (Photo by: Andrea Federici)

"I wanted to interview the producers strictly in presence, without agreeing the questions so that the story was spontaneous, almost a chat between friends. This allowed me to highlight unedited aspects, memories, personal events, family histories. Beyond a descriptive and didactic part on the Castellina in Chianti area, in the book you will not find numbers, hectares or detailed presentations of the individual companies, except for what the interviewees themselves reported on their activities. What interested me, in fact, was to grasp the humanity of the producers, to tell their experience which is then found in the glass," explained Armando Castagno.

The book resulted as a collection of personal portraits of the producers painted by the profound words of Castagno wherein anecdotes, background stories, passions and curiosities reveal their more human and authentic side. Accompanying the words of Castagno are the portraits of the winemakers captured by Caroline Aspas and the landscapes of Castellina in Chianti photographed by Andrea Federici.

After the presentation of the book, the 37 Castellina in Chianti producers served their Chianti Classico wines for tasting to press and operators of the sector who attended the event. The next stop of the tour of the Association of Winemakers of Castellina in Chianti will be Milan.

The History of the Association of Winemakers of Castellina in Chianti

The Association of Winemakers of Castellina in Chianti was born in 2003 with the objective of protecting and protecting the territory. But the growth to the formation of the association gradually started from the mid-90s when the then mayor, Massimo Bianciardi, along with some of his friends, decided to organize a village festival where some producers and restaurateurs offered their products and called it "Chianti d'Autunno" in the splendid setting of the Volte of Castellina in Chianti, the medieval walkway under the walls of the country. A few years later, the event was done in spring to better enjoy the milder temperature and they called it "Pentecost a Castellina". Needless to say, it had received a great turnout of enthusiastic participants.

On 29 December 2003, eight founding producers namely Andrea Aiello, Tommaso Bojola, Gabriele Buondonno, Maria Cristina Diaz, Jacopo Di Battista, Antoine Luginbühl, Giulio Ruspoli, and Enrico Pozzesi (the present president), formed an association with the aim of promoting, giving value the territory and enhancing its fruits, a prospective idea derived from the outcome of the previous events. Almost all the companies in the municipality quickly joined, and over the 20 years of its existence, it has grown to almost forty members. A group of winemakers who who have diversity in their production styles and sizes of their land but completely united in the production of Chianti Classico. In 2011, on the occasion of the 15th edition of the "Pentecost a Castellina", a tasting point of their wines situated at the historic center of the town was also inaugurated.

The Members

Antico Podere Casanova di Bucciarelli, Antiche Terre Belvedere di San Leonino, Bibbiano, Buondonno, Casale dello Sparviero/Campoperi, Casina Di Cornia, Castagnoli, Castellare di Castellina, Castello di Fonterutoli - Marchesi Mazzei, Castello La Leccia, Cecchi, Cennino, Concadoro, Fattoria Di Vegi, Gagliole, Il Caggio/Ipsus, La Croce dei Fratelli Zari, La Mirandola nel Chianti, Lornano, Marchesi Antinori a Castellina in Chianti, Mazza, Nardi Viticoltori, Nittardi, Piemaggio, Podere La Piaggia, Pomona, Querceto Di Castellina, Rocca Delle Macie, Rocca di Cispiano, Rodano, Ruffino, San Donatino, San Fabiano Calcinaia, Setriolo, Tenuta Canale, Tenuta di Lilliano, Tenute Squarcialupi La Castellina, Tregole, and Villa Trasqua.

The Territory

Located in the province of Siena, the village of Castellina in Chianti occupies an area of 9,980 hectares, which extends between the Val d'Elsa, the Val di Pesa and the Arbia river valley, of which approximately 1,682 are planted with vineyards, resulting that the municipality has the most vineyard area of all the Chianti Classico area. The territory of Castellina in Chianti is characterized by soils rich in marl and calcareous marls, by optimal exposures and strong temperature variations which allow for the harvesting of very high quality grapes. About 70% of the vineyards are organically managed or currently in conversion, a percentage that is progressively growing. In fact, of the 39 companies that are part of the association, as many as 36 are already certified organic or in conversion. In the Chianti Classico disciplinary, it is designated as an Unità Geografica Aggiuntiva.

Association of Winemakers of Castellina in Chianti