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The Ricasolis – Dedicated to Wine Since 1141
In the northeast of the Sienna Provice lies the small village of Gaiole in the Chianti wine growing region – which is home to many important wine locations such as the Coltibuono Monastery or the Fortress Broli, which has been owned by the Barone Risacoli family since 1141. This fortress represents the origins of one of the most famous wines in the world - the Chianti. In the middle of Tuscany, winemaking has been documented since before the Roman Empire, under the reign of Etruscan city-states. Since the reign of the Risacolis around the village of Gaiole in Chianti, men have undertaken to expand grape cultivation and winemaking. The successful export of wine from Tuscany by the Risacoli family was first documented in the 17th Century. The precious wines from Gaiole were bound, even then, for harbours on all continents.
The Iron Baron and the Discovery of Chianti
Bettino Risacoli was an influential and very restless personality. At the time of the Risorgimento, the Italian unification in the 19th Century, he played a key role both in Tuscany and in the rest of Italy. He was, however, not only interested and motivated from a political point of view, but also in regard to agricultural technology and winemaking. The composition of the Chianti, as we know it today, can be traced back to him, as witnessed by a letter he wrote to Professor Cesare Studiati at the University of Pisa. In this letter, he stated that the Sangiovese grape played the main role in the making of the Chianti, and that any other grapes were not to exceed 20 % in the cuvée. Since then, the basic formula has not changed. This officially resurrected the Chianti in 1872. From then on, the Barone Ricasoli winery has been bound even more intimately to the Tuscan Rosso.
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