Castellina in Chianti, July 2022 – For over fifty years, Castellina in Chianti has been the heart and home of Cecchi and its Chianti Classico estates of Villa Rosa and Villa Cerna. The town is entirely located within the Chianti Classico area, stretching for 99.45 square kilometers on the hills that separate the Elsa, Pesa and Arbia valleys. It is also one of the 11 UGAs (Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive) recently identified by the Consorzio and that will soon be included on the Gran Selezione, and in future on the Riserva and vintage wine labels.
The peculiar altitude – characterized by a stark height difference of up to 300 meters between the highest and lowest areas – as well as its particularly ventilated position and varied soils (which vary from clayey and deep to heterogeneous combination of alberese and schistose galestro) yield Chianti Classico wines with profound souls that differ based on the vineyard of origin. The two Cecchi estates of Villa Rosa and Villa Cerna truly exemplify this richness. “The distinct terroirs that make up our Chianti Classico estates of Villa Cerna and Villa Rosa deeply etch the wines produced with a strong and authentic identity – says Miria Bracali, enologist at the Cecchi estates – The devotion of Sangiovese to the different areas where it grows is the key to understanding our Chianti Classico”.
On the hills of Castellina in Chianti, the vineyards of Villa Rosa spread over 30 hectares of the 126 in total, growing on heterogeneous calcareous-clayey soils that combine alberese with schistose galestro. The estate is located within one of the largest cypress forests in Europe, at an altitude ranging from 250m of the Ribaldoni vineyard to the 425m of Casetto, in the historic heart of the Chianti Classico production. This rich wine heritage is managed according to a simple yet precise production philosophy: the cultivation of only the best Sangiovese grapes ensure the vinification of outstanding Chianti Classico Docg and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Docg wines.
The different plots can be divided into two sections. The lower part, which is rich in Lignitiferous Clays dating back to the Miocene and present in the Fornace and Ribaldoni vineyards, yields Chianti Classico Ribaldoni, distinguished by complexity, enveloping body and a sustained acidity that refreshes the palate. The higher part, where Palagione and Casetto vineyards are located, is characterized by the presence of Ottone Monteverdi flysch, marly limestone, conglomerates and skeletal grains. This is where the most authentic, elegant and refined Sangiovese come from, distinguished by a marked acidity that perfectly melds with an enveloping and persistent – sometimes austere – structure that ends with a savory finish. This exceptional varietal expression is revealed in Gran Selezione Villa Rosa, exclusively produced in 4,000 bottles.
Located on the first hill at the entrance to the denomination, Villa Cerna has always been considered as the gateway to Chianti Classico. The first estate purchased by Cecchi in the 1960s, the property stretches for 80 hectares, with vineyards from 8 to 36 years old rising on soils originating from the Pliocene. The soil is characterized by alkalinity and presence of clay, especially in the lower parts of the estate. The vineyards are found at altitudes between 200m (Casale vineyard) and 295m asl, where the plots surrounding the Villa grow. This is the highest and most panoramic point of the hill: an easily recognizable spot thanks to the historic 10th century building rising on its peak. The vineyards enjoy excellent exposure, from the north to the south-south west. Thanks to attentive and precise analyses of the different grape clones, mainly Sangiovese, vineyard classification has evolved over time: today, the most suitable clones have been planted in plots with varying altitude, exposure and soil composition. Great care has also been reserved to mass selections focusing on Sangiovese that were carried out over the years. The strong sensitivity to environmental issues and the utmost respect for the rhythm of the vineyard are also maintained through the practice of integrated agriculture and single vinifications carried out vineyard by vineyard.
Attentive operations in the cellar allow for the two powerful and enveloping wines produced, characterized by vibrant tannins, to bring out their identity. Villa Cerna Chianti Classico Riserva comes from the estate’s highest vineyards, which grow on soils rich in gastropod fossils: fresh and floral on the nose, this harmonious wine reveals good balance between acidity, alcohol content and tannins, which make for a structured and long-lived wine. Villa Cerna Primocolle Chianti Classico is born from Chianti Classico’s “first hill”, which greets visitors arriving from Siena. Clear, lively, fresh, floral and intense: the wine is the pure expression of the soils of origin and the gentle and slender Sangiovese from the lower parts of the estate.