The Castello d’Albola estate is at Radda in Chianti. Here, in the Province of Siena, vine cultivation dates back to Etruscan times. The landscape is matchless, with hillsides painted with vineyards that produce absolutely world-class wines. Many historical and cultural treasures go back to the Middle Ages.
The oldest building, the Cassero di Albola, dates back to the 12th century, when it was the property of the noble magnates of Monterinaldi. Subsequently, it belonged to personages who played a leading role in Tuscany’s history: the Acciaiuolis, the Samminiatis, the Pazzis and the Ginori Contis. It was the Acciaiuolis who, in the 15th century, built the Castle, which was transformed during the Renaissance into a splendid villa.
CLIMATE AND SOIL
The climate is continental, with temperatures in winter below 4°-5°C (39°-41°F), and very dry summers when the thermometer rises above 30°C (86°F). The differences between day and night temperatures are accentuated by the altitude of between 400 and 500 meters (1,310-1,640 ft.). Average annual rainfall is 800-900 mm. (31.5-35.4 in.), which falls mainly in late autumn and in spring. The soil is principally clay, with good drainage and an excellent capacity for retaining and then yielding nutritive elements to the vines.
The property comprises 850 hectares (2,100 acres) of which 157 (388 acres) are vineyards, split up among various plots of land. The training system of the vines, which used to be the classic Tuscan "doppio capovolto", has been converted to espalier with a density of 5,000 vines per hectare (2,023 per acre).
The systems adopted are all aimed at taking full advantage of the sunlight that bathes the estate’s south-facing hillside vineyards, thus guaranteeing excellent ripening of the grapes.
GRAPE VARIETIES AND WINES
The predominant grape is Sangiovese (on which important research has been carried out for several years, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chianti Classico Consortium), but there are also international varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Nero.