Posted: Dec 17, 2017
Dominic Poggiali took a chance in 1966 and bought the estate of Fattoria Felsina in Castelnuovo Berardenga, just to the southeast of Siena. Times were difficult then for Italian wines and the viniculture was less than outstanding. But, Dominic was forward thinking and felt that with the right team, quality wines could be produced on the estate.
He selected a young team to work the land and develop the cellars. They did just that and the estate began to modernize its approach to winemaking while keeping the best traditions of the past intact. The soul of Fèlsina was beginning to change and in mid-1970s Giuseppe Mazzocolin entered the picture of this family business. Giuseppe was challenged to develop the commercialization of the estate and, indeed, he did. A student and professor of the Humanities, Giuseppe had developed a wealth of contacts in and outside of academia.
He was respected for his love of Italian culture and, specifically, that of Tuscany. The foundation that he brought to Fèlsina manifested itself in the international marketplace. Friendships with leading persona such as Luigi Veronelli and oenologist Franco Bernabei lifted
Fèlsina’s reputation and, beginning with the 1983 vintage and the birth of Fontalloro and Rancia, the estate began to take its place among the premier wineries of not only Italy, but also the wider wine world. Fontalloro is the most representative expression of Fèlsina’s Sangiovese.
The Rancia vineyard takes its name from the historic Rancia farmhouse which was once a Benedictine monastery and its soil produces a Chianti Classico Reserva that is an example of compelling mastery.
The countryside of Castelnouvo Berardenga is a place blessed by nature and loved by the Romans as a rest and refresh spot along a historic and important road. Fattoria Fèlsina was once the farm of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany producing mostly olives with only a minimum area devoted to viniculture. In a ode to the past, Fattoria Fèlsina and Giuseppe Mazzocolin have once again begun the production of fine monocultivar extra virgin olive oils… with amazing results.
Fattoria Fèlsina is also blessed with a variety of terrains and climates. Its vineyards are characterized by diverse soils and microclimates which come to bear on the wines and olive oils as surely as the Tuscan sun and cool evening breezes. Since 1993 Fèlsina has been replacing vineyards under the careful direction of Giovanni Poggiali. This dedication to terroir drives the estate deeper and deeper into the knowledge of Sangiovese as the face of the estate.
Cabernet Sauvignon has found a home in the vineyards of Rancia Piccola and Poggiolo and produces Maestro Raro, a deep red with shades of purple and violet. Aromas of berries, tobacco, leather and black tea wind there way to a finish that is both elegant and harmonious.
Chardonnay developed from French root stock grown on the nearby estate of Farnetella exhibits notes of tropical fruit and peach as well as hints of spice and vanilla. This classic wine is bottled as I Sistri and has been an important part of the portfolio since 1987.
If you are fortunate enough to visit Fattoria Fèlsina and enjoy their hospitality, look around in the vineyards, the cellars, the olive orchards and the winery… you will feel the presence of Giuseppe Mazzocolin (pictured Here) in every taste of the wines and oils.
And, should he be available, take a few minutes to say hello. He might just offer you a taste of something special.
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