This article first appeared in Santé Magazine in October 2023
Tenuta di Capezzana is a historic estate in Carmignano that boasts a long and noble history in winemaking and olive oil production that goes as far back as 1200 years, the site is also noted for Italy’s first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon. Capezzana is a family-owned boutique winery with elegant and exceptional wines.
Carmignano is a small and historic appellation in Prato located slightly northwest of Florence. Winemaking in the region dates back to the pre-Roman era, about 3000 years ago, as evidenced by the wine jars and tasting cups found in Etruscan tombs.
Tenuta di Capezzana – History
Old historic documents found in the state archives of Florence that date back to 804, show a rental contract that documents that Capezzana was cultivating olive trees and vines for the production of olive oil and wines going back 1200 years.
Over the centuries, the estate passed through several families. Several noble families took charge of running the property: the Cantucci, related to the Medici, the Bourbon del Monte Marquises, Adimari Morelli, the Franchetti Rothschilds, by the widow Sara de Rothschild, and then to the present day, Contini Bonacossi.
Tenuta di Capezzana and the Contini Bonacossi Family
The Contini Bonacossi family is a highly regarded aristocratic family in Carmignano, producing wines at Capezzana since the 1920s. Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi purchased the sprawling property and later the family added “Il Poggetto” and “Trefiano”. Alessandro wanted to produce the highest quality wines in Carmignano and had a great desire to age and preserve his wines. So today, the Capezzana cellars have incredible historic vintages going back to 1925.
In 1945 Ugo Contini Bonacossi joined Alessandro with a vision to grow and transform Capezzana into a modern estate. Ugo encouraged the family to be a part of the business and today Capezzana is run by the fourth and fifth generation. Beatrice(Bea) is the sales manager, Benedetta is the winemaker, and brother Filippo, is responsible for the production of oil and their finances. Continuing the family tradition, today the fifth generation is also involved in the winery.
Tasting The Wines Of Capezzana With Bea
I had the pleasure of meeting Bea, who represents the fourth generation of the family. Bea is the proprietor and international ambassador for Tenuta di Capezzana. She is a devoted advocate for her family’s impressive wines. She travels the world representing Carmignano and Capezzana’s celebrated wines. Wine, food, and family are central to Bea; one of the things she loves above all is cooking for her family. Bea has been an inspiration to her children and today they all enjoy working at the winery and representing their family’s legacy.
Capezzana was the first certified organic winery in Carmignano. The wines of Capezzana are incredibly well-made and are worth seeking out, the wines represent distinct terroir. Capezzana is a real Tuscan treasure. Since the beginning, they have been producing wines that are clean, organic and impactful.
Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC 2020 (SRP: $19)
Bea explains that this wine was first made in 1984, it is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine gets its name from the ancient Mediceab hunting reserve surrounded by the “Muro del Barco Reale” or “Royal Park Wall”. This delicious medium-bodied wine is young, fresh, and vibrant with notes of raspberry and sage.
Villa di Capezzana Carmignano DOC 2019 (SRP: $32)
Villa di Capezzana is the most representative wine of the estate, that the family has been producing since 1925. Bea shares that her family were art collectors and felt wine like art should be collected and so the family has bottles of this wine in their collection going back to 1925, The wine bears the original label that was designed by Bea’s grandparents in the 1920s. Produced from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon is juicy and full on the palate with plum, spice and tobacco notes with a beautiful long persistent finish.
Villa di Capezzana “10 years” Carmignano DOC 2013 (SRP: $67)
This is the company’s “Historic Reserve”, a limited edition of 3,000 bottles. Every year, since 2006, the company has been releasing a 10-year-old Villa di Capezzana to accompany the latest vintage on the market. The wine shows the potential aging of the vineyard. This is a full-bodied wine with notes of coffee, vanilla and spice with smooth tannins.
Trefiano Carmignano DOC Riserva 2018 (SRP: $66)
Made in only the best vintages, the grapes for the Trefiano Carmignano Riserva come from five hectares of vineyards that surround the historic Villa di Trefiano located in the Carmignano DOCG. The Trefiano is made from a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Canaiolo. Ruby red color, medium-bodied, with black plum fruit, balanced acidity and tannins. A complex wine that is made to age.
Trefiano Carmignano DOC Riserva 2008 (NFS)
This wine is representative of how well Capezzano wines can age. This is a harmonious wine that is drinking beautifully right now and can still evolve in the bottle. This wine can age extremely well. This is an elegant wine with herbs, spice and nice acidity.
Ghiaie della Furba Toscana IGT 2019 (SRP: $57)
Ghiale della Furba was one of the first Bordeaux-style wine from the region, This is an exceptional and unique wine. Bea shares that the idea to make this wine first came about tin 1979, Ugo Contini Binacossi wanted to make a Bordeaux blend in Carmignano, an idea unheard of at the time. The first vineyard, composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, was located on the alluvial gravelly soil of the Furba stream, from which it takes its name, the blend was modified to add Syrah. A powerful wine that is also elegant. It is a wine that is intense, structured and nicely balanced with bright acidity
Vin Santo di Carmignano DOC Riserva 2015 (SRP: $92)
This Riserva Vin Santo is made in the traditional way and aged for 6 years in cherry, chestnut, mulberry and oak barrels with 90% Trebbiano and 10% San Colombano. San Colombano is a grape that doesn’t exist much anymore, which makes this blend even more special, explains Bea. Only a small amount of this Vinsanto is made with only 5000 1/2 bottles produced. Bea enjoys this Vinsanto with aged cheeses and gelato.