Even if “Felsina” is a name of Etruscan origin, it was not until the Roman Empire that an activity of nourishment for travellers can be documented, further developed during the Middle Ages when the spot became a center of assistance an hospitality and pilgrims. A lengthy history, in short, which from Benedictine monks extends all the way to Domenico Poggiali, the founder in 1966 of Fattoria di Felsina.
Located in the township of Castlenuovo Berardenga, at the southeastern edge of the Chianti Classico appellation (at the gateway to the Ombrone valley), Fèlsina is currently directed by Poggiali’s son-in-law, Giuseppe Mazzocolin, and now extends over more than1200 acres of land, 155 of which planted to vines. The aim of Mazzocolin – seconded by his winemaker, Franco Bernabei – is to realize the maximum expressiveness of each and every single vineyard plot; operating through a quality-oriented selection of the “Sangioveto” cultivated on the estate, he has imposed an innovative series of decisions and choices.
In 1983, in fact, the first vintage of Fontalloro was produced, a splendid, pure Sangiovese wine, presented, almost as a provocation, without appellation status. In formal terms, a lower classification, that of a mere “table wine”, but accepted as a protest against the antiquated rules of the DOC and also as an attempt to bring out, thanks to a careful blend, all the characteristics of Tuscany’s major grape variety, cultivated in vineyards that were both inside and outside the appellation boundaries. Thanks to this courageous decision, to rigorous and original choices, it is now possible to speak of a “Fèlsina style”, a rare conception of wine which prefers the maximum elegance to excesses of concentration and structure.
Just as in the case of Fontalloro, the Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia and Maestro Raro – named for two country farhouses near the vineyards – offer, in an entirely different way, a shared aromatic finesse and a pronounced aging ability which derives from the powerful tannins of the wines.
The estate’s range, moreover, includes a Tuscan Chardonnay, I Sistri, and an excellent Vin Santo of Chianti Classico, one of Italy’s most intriguing dessert wines.