The gorgeous photo above is from the Famiglia Cecchi website and gives you an idea of the beauty and breadth of their estate. This well-known Tuscan family winery was started in 1893 by Luigi Cecchi. His wines were celebrated and considered premier examples of Chianti early on. Yet it was a further generation of the family that moved to Castellina in Chianti, one of the historic Chianti Classico production sites in the 1970s. The family has since expanded their holdings and today count five estates in their portfolio, four in Tuscany and one in Umbria.
The Chianti Classico consortium has been working a lot on showing the terroir associated with the 11 areas that make up the Chianti classico denomination. Castellina as we can see is in the center of the area. One of the largest of the 11 areas, it lies on the road to Siena and is a very scenic part of Tuscany, parts of it are at higher elevations and other lower. Soils here are quite ancient dating back to the Pliocene Era. They tend to have a lot of clay, with limestone deposits, sands, and marine fossils.
For this post, I tried two of their wines. Both were exceptional and displayed aromas and flavors of dark cherry, rose, nuts, bramble, plums, earthiness, sometimes more spice sometimes a touch of oak but always a great structure with acidity, often minerality and enough tannin to carry it through to the finish line.
The younger Storia di Famiglia wine from 2020 is very approachable and can be drunk immediately. 2020 was a good year in Tuscany without too much rain and a long balanced growing season. The wine shows just how much work has been done both by the Cecchi family but also but the entire Chianti Classico area. I have had the great good fortune to go to 3 or 4 Anteprime Toscane harvest release additions to taste the new vintages. I attended 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022 versions of this marvelous event. Chianti Classico really is the noble wine from this part of Tuscany that must be on everyone’s table. Elegant Sangiovese based wines all, the Cecchi wines showed beautifully then and again today.
The Riserva was from a great vintage, 2015 which was beautiful in Tuscany and produced wines that can both age and are drinking beautifully today. The vineyards that produced this wine are at around 270 meters above sea level of (885 feet). This one ferments in stainless steel and then ages in barriques and in the bottle before release.
It was so nice to be reminded through these wines why I love Chianti Classico and just how much work has been done to height the quality of these amazing and historic wines. If you haven’t been drinking Chianti in a while, take another look.
General Information on Chianti Classico:
Date of Birth: 1716 the borders delimited by Cosimo III, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Place of Birth: The territory lying between the provinces of Florence and Siena that covers all of the municipalities of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and part of the municipalities of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi, San Casciano in Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.
Total vineyard area: 10,000 ha/ 25,000 acres
Grapes permitted: Sangiovese min 80% -100%, other red grapes 0-20%
Average annual bottle output (over the past 10 years): 35-38 million bottles a year
The Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers have planned a host of Chianti posts. Liz of What’s In That Bottle? is our host and arranged for several of us to receive samples from Cecchi for the event. I was among these lucky folks. We will be on Twitter on Saturday, November 5th at 11am EDT. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and join us.
Here’s are the Chianti articles from the group…
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm shares A Classic Italian Pairing
- Jennifer of Vino Travels teaches The History of Family with Cecchi
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla provides Cucina Povera and Two Bottles of Chianti Classico
- Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles discusses Wines of Family with Chianti Classico from Famiglia Cecchi and a Tuscan Style Ragu
- Cindy of Grape Experiences talks about At I Veroni in Chianti Rufina, Elegance and Balance Characterize Its Wines
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass serves Chianti Classico and spaghetti to warm the body and soul
- Jeff of Food Wine Click! writes about Rufina: One Straw in the Chianti Haystack
- Katarina of Grapevine Adventures shows how 3 Chianti DOCG Wines Show the Potential of 3 Different Suzones
- Liz of What’s in that Bottle? has Two Chianti Wines for Fall
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator serves up 2 Cecchi Chianti Classico Paired With Instant Pot Bolognese
Always one of my favorites
Thank you for the great information on the soils here. I would love to dive in and learn more about that. Were the UGAs set up by soil and climate like our American AVAs?
Lucky you to have spent so much time in Tuscany! Great information in this post and of course, your first-hand experience adds another dimension.