Pisa Hills Wines
On the 6th December 2018 I attended a Conference Press hold by the Pisa Chamber of Commerce for the lunch of “Terre di Pisa”, the New Tourist Brand and Project for promoting Pisa’s Cultural Heritage and its Wine Making Tradition.
On that occasion I met Nicola Cantoni, who participated as moderator and as President of Pisa Consortium Wine . This was founded in 2018 to protect the Appellation of “Terre di Pisa Wines” and to develop an internationally-
Fattoria di Fibbiano’s History
In 1997 Giuseppe Cantoni, with his wife Tiziana and sons Matteo and Nicola, moved from Lombardy to Tuscany. They were looking for a successful Wine Making business living a life far away from the noise of the city and close to nature. Therefore, they purchased a Medieval Villa at that time, that belonged to the noble family Gherardi del Testa Barasaglia in the 12th century . They renovated it all and turned it into what Fattoria di Fibbiano is today, a thriving Agricultural Entrepreneurship.
Their adventure from North Italy in Tuscany was not only the result of a desire to search for their El Dorado, but also a sign of Destiny printed in one of their first label “Fonte delle Donne” (“Women Fountain”) . This exquisite White Wine is made from Colombana, an old grape that grew spontaneously around a miraculous water source near the estate. According to tradition, the Colombana grape was introduced by San Columbanus ‘ followers in the 17th century , when these famous Irish abbots decided to settle here living behind their Milan area. Upon their arrival in their estate, Cantoni Family realized they were not the only foreigners who fell in love with Tuscany, finding the right place where to be ! Bringing to light the old farmstead was not easy, but all that work devoted to transform an old ruin into a jewelry was fully rewarded, as Cantoni Family carries on a prospering farming activity today, respecting land and the local traditions. Giuseppe, the father, deals with the General Management of the Middle Age Estate and takes care of the vineyards and countryside. Matteo, the eldest of the two sons, is in charge of Marketing the Wines and his brother, Nicola, is the Winemaker .
Fattoria di Fibbiano, a Corner of Tuscan Paradise
Fattoria di Fibbiano is not only home to a prestigious Agritourism with a pool, but also to an exclusive Modern Winery and an amazing Lounge Bar . It is located at n. 2 via Fibbiano , in the municipality of Terricciola.
Terricciola is a delicious hamlet surrounded by high walls and defense towers, in the heart of Tuscan countryside, where History, Culture and Art, join the magnificent Beauty of the Nature in a unique way. Fattoria di Fibbiano is situated in a territory, that has its roots in the culture of the Etruscan civilization, and where Wine is produced since more than 3000 years and it is a part of the Local Identity and Culture. Fibbiano’s philosophy is to continue on this thread of Culture and Tradition, cultivating indigenous grape varieties, suc as Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, S. Colombana, and Vermentino , instead of more international grapes. Fattoria di Fibbiano extends over an area of about 20 hectares of vineyards, 5 hectares of olive groves, 12 hectares of woodland and the rest is arable land. Some vineyards (around 2.5 hectares) are over 100 years old and 17.5 hectares are up to 20 years old. This mixture of Old Vines and New Vines keeps the vineyard alive, with red grapes planted on the top of the hill, and white grapes on the lower parts. Due to Fibbiano‘s proximity to the Mediterranean and Ligurian seas, the soil originates from the sea and is rich in fossil shells from the Pliocene epoch, and medium-textured corals . In terms of climate, this part of Tuscany has warm sea breezes during the day and cooler nights, which helps the grapes to retain acidity and develop flavor. This particular terroir provides to complex Wines with a certain minerality, and aging capability. I appreciated a lot of things, above all that Fattoria di Fibbiano is certified organic. Their Practices, Farming and Wine-Growing Methods are truly natural. They even use their own wood for central heating. Further, this Sustainable Winery uses a solar plant to conserve energy and produce fresh water. They are always ready to face new challenges, not least of which exporting 80% of their Wine to the following countries: United States, Canada, Norway, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Lebanon, Mexico.
The best part of this incredible Life Experience was my Top Wine Tasting. I was led to a lovely Wine Bar with a large wooden table full with Fibbiano Best Wines and platters of Tuscan salami, pecorino and bread. I sampled 6 different Wines, guided by Matteo who talked me through what I was enjoying, from the colour/appearance, the bouquet/smell and then the flavor. Each Wine was different, but wonderful in its own way. I tried Red and White Wines, but the majority of the ones I tried were Red. Most of them are made from the Sangiovese grapes and some are mixed with other grapes to produce new fantastic blends.
White and Rosé:
- Fonte delle Donne IGT Toscana : It’s a fruity Wine made from Vermentino and Colombana, a grape that is used for Vin Santo too ;
- Rosé IGT Toscana : 100% Sangiovese , It’s a Wine with notes of red fruits, and pairs well with white meat and fish courses;
- Le Pianette IGT Toscana : This is a 70% Sangiovese and 30% Colorino Wine; It is aged for 6 months in barrels of Slavonian oak and 3 months in bottle;
- Casalini Chianti Superiore DOCG : This is an 80% Sangiovese and 20% Ciliegiolo Wine. It is aged for 8 months in barrels of Slavonian oak and 3 months in bottle. It has the typical notes of cherry . It is a well-structured Wine with smooth tannins;
- L’Aspetto IGT Toscana : This is a 50% Sangiovese and 50% Canaiolo Wine. It is aged for 12 months in tonneaux, 6 months in cement tanks, and 6 months in bottle. This is an intense ruby Red Wwine with notes of mature red fruit and spices;
- Ceppatella IGT Toscana : This is a 100% Sangiovese Wine, which is made with grapes selected from the oldest vineyard of the estate – it’s a 120 years old vineyard . It is a wine aged for 6 months in tonneaux , 14 months in barrels of Slavonian oak, and 5 months in bottle. It has notes of marmalade, spices, tobacco, and cacao and a long persistence.
Matteo entertained me happily and answered all my questions by sharing the secrets of their Quality Wines: “Sun, soil and patience”!
Pisa Hills Wines
Fattoria di Fibbiano offers up a bunch of very Tasty Wines for Wine Lovers and Experts to experience.
Fattoria di Fibbiano is situated predominantly in the Wine Trail of the Pisa Hills, an itinerary through the Tuscan countryside, which highlights many small towns that boast great traditions. It’s an area between Pisa and Volterra, and it extends in the vicinity of the Arno, Egola and Elsa rivers. It embraces stunning landscapes and places, such as Casciana Terme, Capannoli, Chianni, Crespina, Lari, Palaia, Ponsacco, Terricciola, Cascina, Collesalvetti, Fauglia, Laiatico, Lorenzana, Montopoli Valdarno, Peccioli, Pontedera, Santa Luce, San Miniato and Collesalvetti .
The rolling Hills of Pisa gives birth to Top Red & White Wines:
- “Chianti DOCG Colline Pisane”: It’s a special area with distinctive characteristics, that covers a set of Hills that are close to the sea; these Red Wines tend to be light and soft, displaying a ruby-red color, violet aromas and a dry, fruity and slightly tannic nature when young;
- “DOC Bianco San Torpè”: It’s a fine White Wine made from Trebbiano, Vermentino and Chardonnay with a specific code of production since 1980 (produced in Terricciola, Morrona, Fauglia, Peccioli, Ghizzano e Palaia). Its name is dedicated to Saint Torpè from Pisa, a Nero’s officer, who-due his conversion to Christianity-was beheaded by the Roman Imperor ;
- “DOC Montescudaio Rosso”: It’s a persistent Red Wine made from Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese; Its colour is red ruby, and the aroma is intense and fruity (produced in Montescudaio and Castellina Marittima);
- “DOC Montescudaio Bianco”: It’s an harmonious White Wine made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Vermentino (produced in Montescudaio and Castellina Marittima);
- IGT: Free from the stylistic constraints imposed on DOCG and DOC Wines, Toscana IGT Wines can be made into almost any form imaginable, from bone-dry Whites to sweet Reds and sparkling rosés;
- “DOC Terre di Pisa”: It’s a new DOC established in 2011 and is composed of two different Wines Appellations, namely “Terre di Pisa Red”, made from Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and “Terre di Pisa Sangiovese” made from Sangiovese – minimum amount of 95% (produced in Fauglia, Crespina, Lari, Chianni, Capannoli, Palaia, Peccioli, Terricciola, Casciana Terme, Ponsacco, Pontedera, Montopoli V.A., Lajatico, San Miniato Orciano Pisano, Lorenzana and Santa Luce).
Like other talented Wine Producers within this zone , Fattoria Fibbiano is an example of Pisa’s Great Winemaking Potential, that is only to be revealed in all its splendour. I am feeling optimistic that this area is set to receive long overdue attention. Matteo was an Excellent Guide and Wine Educator. It was so natural for him to explain all that concerned his farm and how Wine is made from Grapes to Wine. His Passionate Wine Tasting remains for a long time among my memory . I am eager to learn much more about the Super Wines of Pisa, that’s why another visit to Fattoria di Fibbiano will be a must!
I can just imagine myself relaxing and sipping a Glass of Your fabulous Wines under a grape vine trellis with a view of green cypresses marking the contours of the gentle Tuscan hills!
Grazie mille Matteo!