Chianti Classico deep dive (8) Castello di Volpaia

Castello di Volpaia


It was a chilly October evening as we trudged around a beautifully preserved small hilltop village. Most of the village is the property of Castello di Volpaia, which we visited with Giovannella Stanti, the owner.

It was a very different time in 1966 when her father gave bought the estate, with its home and cellars. She got married in 1972, so she says that she was given Volpaia as a dowry. ‘This period was one of a big change from sharecroppers to workers,’ says Giovannella. In the past, people would get accommodation and land, and pay half of the crop to the owner. But this changed, and suddenly estate owners had to pay a salary, and the economics no longer worked. So people left the land, and the owners were left with part-abandoned villages, like this one.

Her father had only purchased part of the Volpaia estate, but carried on adding to it when land became available. And Giovanella and her husband Carlo Mascheroni set about modernizing the winery and vineyards, including renovating houses in the village (they own two-thirds of them). They rent many of these to tourists, and there’s a population year round of 50.

Volpaia own 48 hectares of vineyards at altitudes ranging from 450-600 m, among the highest in the region. All are in Radda. They’ve been farming organically since 2000. Lorenzo Regoli has been winemaker here since 2001.


Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico 2021
10% Merlot in the blend. Supple, fine and elegant with a core of sweet cherry and plum fruit. Juicy and refined with some flesh as well as good structure. Impressive. 93/100

Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2018
100% Sangiovese. Warm and spicy with some savoury notes and a bit of oak influence, as well as ripe cherry and plum fruit. Has a grainy structure, with some mineral hints. 92/100

Castello di Volpaia Maremma Riserva 2019 Tuscany, Italy
They have 12 hectares in the Maremma area. Ripe and lush with sweet black cherries and blackberries, showing lushness but also good structure. Ripe and luxurious. 92/100

Castello di Volpaia Coltassala Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2019
14.5% alcohol. Intense and firm with sweet black cherries and blackberries, as well as some fine spicy notes. Lovely intensity with nice grip. Very stylish. 94/100

Castello di Volpaia Coltassala Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2020
14% alcohol. Intriguing nose of sweet red cherries with hints of wax, sap and liqourice. The palate is pure, linear and elegant with lovely texture to the bright pure red fruits, finishing supple with some fine tannins. A really pure, elegant style of Chianti Classico. 94/100

Castello di Volpaia Il Puro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2019
14% alcohol. This is superbly balanced with a fine-grained structure sitting under restrained but nicely concentrated berry fruits. Has a touch of old wood and olive, with some dried herbs in the mix, too. Very fine and balanced, and should age well. 95/100

Castello di Volpaia Balifico 2016 Toscana
This supertuscan was first made in 1985, and it’s a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 70% Sangiovese. Firmly structured with real intensity to the blackurrant and spice flavours, beginning to show some evolution. Nice weight here. 93/100