Castello di Verrazzano

The Castle of Verrazzano is located on the hilltop in the Chianti Classico area, the first grape growing and wine producing area in the world to be determined by an official proclamation, made by the grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici in 1716. There is a great tradition of winemaking here. The “vineyards situated in Verrazzano” are mentioned in a manuscript which dates back to 1170 and is preserved at the abbey of Passignano.


The Castello’s high position, over the Greve Valley, was once of strategic-military importance; today it is possible to overlook the vineyards which fan out across the slopes to the edges of the wood further down the valley. The castle was an Etruscan, then a roman settlement, before becoming the property of the Verrazzano family in the VIIth century. Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered the bay of New York and the main part of the east coast of America, was in fact born here in 1485.

After having undergone changing fortunes over the centuries, the castle has now rediscovered its ancient splendour thanks to the patient work of the present owners, Luigi and Silvia Cappellini.

While this is one of the most HISTORIC properties in Chianti Classico, it is also one of the most current and forward-thinking estates. They were early to convert to organic farming principles, not because it was good for sales, but because it met with their own personal sensibilities. Sustainability is a general standard. Not only are the wines certified organic, but all product grown on their family farm is organic/sustainably managed – including the vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, the honey…and the boars raised in a free-range manner. The winery is powered using certified, renewable sources, and heated using wood from the estate’s forest.

If you cannot make it out to Greve in Chianti for a visit to the winery, but happen to be visiting Florence, be sure to visit “La Cantinetta dei Verrazzano” in central Florence to sample their wines and local foods.

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