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The last (and only) time I was ever able to visit Italy, Fattoria Viticcio was one of the crucial suppliers I had the good fortune to meet. The Biba family, stewards of the property, and their workers are like family to Serendipity Imports, and as I tasted a few of their wines this past month I was reminded again of the warmth of their welcome and hearth of their home. 

Me & the OG Serendipity Imports Team in Florence Viticcio Team 

Though we are just beginning to see some of the 2021 UGA designated wines hit wine shelves here in the United States, recognition of these more specific zones within Chianti Classico has grown in importance to wine enthusiasts and professionals alike for quite a while now. Greve stands out especially for its higher concentration Galestro clay, but Viticcio’s vineyards in particular are quite rocky with a good mix of clay and sand. The valley they stay in also receives constant ventilation that grants variation in temperature throughout the day.

A farmer at Albet I Noya carries a basket of grapes across their vineyard

In addition to the main property in Chianti Classico, the family expanded to a small property in Maremma where they can of course participate in the famous Super-Tuscan fashion (a beguiling Bolgheri, by the way) while also crafting some of the more traditional wines from the area. This land is subject to unmitigated beauty and coastal winds that combine with a particular level of sandstone, clay, and limestone that grant complexity and vivaciousness to wines grown here. Viticcio acquired their own plot here just a few years ago and grow everything from Cabernet and other international varietals to the native Sangiovese and the Foglia Tonda, an ancient grape they have reignited.

A farmer at Albet I Noya carries a basket of grapes across their vineyard

My Viticcio picks that will warm you as the weather cools…

 

Though the Riserva has been exceptional each time I taste it and the editorials have lauded its appeal for several years straight, I still find myself picking up a bottle of Viticcio Chianti Classico when I make dinner at home. It’s beautifully ripe but the maturity is there and tastes distinctly Italian, even with some use of Cabernet & Merlot. Coincidentally, the new 2020 vintage will also be the 55th consecutive vintage from the winery, their oldest item.

 

Just a touch more Sangiovese (95%), the Morellino really puts on display how quickly terroir can contrast in Tuscany. While the grapes are unmistakable, the warmer, coastal climate of Maremma gives this wine a distinct, bright fruitiness that is less pronounced in the Chianti Classico. It’s what I get two bottles of before a night of movies and games with friends (maybe some pizza too). While it’s undiscovered or newfangled to some, ‘Morellino’ actually translates to Sangiovese in the local dialect and has been grown here for centuries. I actually think this serves as a better example of the varietal for those just getting into Sangiovese and other Italian wine – a bit of a bridge to the rest of the world.

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