Visitors traveling from Sienna into Chianti Classico are greeted by the historic site of Villa Cerna as they cross the first hill into the famed sub-region. The villa itself is an old monastery, dating back to the 11th century CE. The monks that lived on the land tended to the surrounding vineyards and agriculture, including 1001 olive trees planted in the year 1001 to celebrate the new millennium. In fact, some of these trees still produce fruit that go into Villa Cerna’s aptly-named olive oil, “Milleuno.” Undoubtedly though, the most important production of the estate is their two classic expressions of Sangiovese: “Primocolle” (meaning “first hill”) Chianti Classico and their eponymous Chianti Classico Riserva. Luigi Cecchi purchased Villa Cerna in 1962, during a key rebuilding moment for Chianti Classico. This was the first of the Cecchi Family’s estate purchases, though they had been making wine for decades prior. The family has since completely restored the original structure and constructed the winemaking facility and cellar. Over the past 60+ years they have reorganized and revitalized the vineyards, undertaking meticulous environmental research to identify the ideal clones for the local soil types and microclimates of the property. The soil here dates back to the Pilocene era and includes a mix of clay, limestone, yellow sand, and marine fossils. The swooping valley that leads up to Castellina in Chianti provides ideal sun exposure for the vineyards of Villa Cerna, of which 90% are Sangiovese and 10% are native varietals that were already present on the land. Like all of the Cecchi Family Estates, Villa Cerna is reaching into the future of winemaking through a commitment to the traditional varietals and styles of the region. The Cecchi family places a special focus on hospitality at Villa Cerna, using it to showcase the values shared by each of their properties. Its strategic location at the “gates” of Chianti Classico make it well-suited to welcome visitors to the famed appellation, offering beautiful dining experiences at their restaurant, Foresteria, and greeting travelers with stunning architecture, sweeping vineyard views, and--of course--their signature wines.
Anyone who wouldn’t want to work with the Cecchi family would have to be nuts, and when I was contacted by the family about representing their wines in the US I was excited to say the least. Andrea and his family have over 125 years of winemaking history in the Chianti Classico region and their family name is amongst the most recognizable in Italian wine. Volio has the opportunity to build the estates for the family. These are the gems of their vineyard holdings and really represent the future of the Cecchi name.
Stony with an alkaline presence