” You get your strength from this red earth ….. You’re part of it, and it’s part of you!”
It is a famous quote from a famous epic movie that tells the story of a famous heroine of times gone by and yet always so contemporary.
Beautiful, charming, with dark hair and hypnotic green eyes. Stubborn, indomitable, brave, gifted with unparalleled willpower, fighting and never ever giving up to adversities, always moved by her deep love for her land: Tara! It is her indeed, the magnificent Scarlett O’Hara, in the unforgettable movie Gone with the wind.
And that’s how I like to imagine Monna Nera Bonaccorsi who in 1475 built the first “casa da Signori” in Carmignano and nine farmhouses with their vineyards. Determined, strong, in love with this part of Tuscany where winemaking had been an art since the dawn of time, it is with her that the story of one of the most representative Wineries of what is one of the four oldest appelations in Tuscany formally begun.
Many families have taken turns at the helm of Tenuta di Capezzana, which over the centuries has become increasingly flourishing and acquired new estates. Notorious names, even the Medici, as you can tell by the marvelous historical residence that still preserves a small part of a vast and precious art collection now kept in the Uffizi Gallery. And as we went up the stairs, I swear I could see them and hear their laughter. These joyful young girls, with their wonderful gowns swaying and rustling on the way to the elegant bedrooms for their afternoon nap, according to the fashion of well-educated young women. Scarlett is sneaking away however, headed to god knows where, or perhaps it must have been Sara von Rothschild, who knows!
And while the girls are resting, in the sumptuous halls of Villa Capezzana the men smoke fine cigars and sip elegant and velvety glasses of Ghiaie della Furba as they debate the imminent harvest. It will be an excellent and abundant vintage, the reward that Nature grants to those who respect and pamper her, and at Capezzana they are true Masters in this endeavor. It is Ugo Contini Bonacossi who is keeping the audience busy and explains that “The taste of the land of origin is the thing that interests us the most to carry on, that is the fragrance of the place that is found, unique and incomparable, in our wines.” The truthfulness of the wine is obtained from simplicity that in turns requires commitment, care and attention. The land is worked in a simple, organic and healthy way, following Nature without ever forcing it. The strength of the earth is thus concentrated in the bunches of Sangiovese, the undisputed king of the vineyards, and his courtiers Canaiolo, Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah, which elected these places as their home so long ago they can be considered native – if we really want to go to the true origins of Super Tuscans.
On this wonderful summer morning we went to verify the Bonacossi method in person directly in the vineyards. Driving around in our Jeep, between a game of ping pong and the exploration of the magnificent Villa Trefiano – which felt like a movie as well but I haven’t decided which one yet – we tasted the berries that are almost ready: harvesting is right around the corner! Healthy, succulent, sweet, delicious grapes! The Capezzana method works without a shadow of a doubt!
The philosophy in the Cellar does stay the same, fermentation takes place spontaneously with indigenous yeasts that also contribute to corroborate this essential concept: the taste of origin, the taste of the land. And if you want to understand clearly and unequivocally the true meaning of this statement, then Ugo Contini Bonacossi is the bottle for you. From a single vineyard, the Viticciana, wanted, designed and planted by Ugo to fulfill the ambitious dream of creating a Great Sangiovese in purity, in this glass the strength of the land, of this land, you can feel it all! The truth is in the glass! Intense and elegant scents of fruit, flowers and spices chase one other in a graceful dance marked by the typical violet hints of this grape variety. The thick and elegant tannin is in perfect symbiosis with a refreshing acidity that makes the sip lively and vibrant, granting this wine a truly infinite ageing potential.
And so, sitting here on the terrace of the Vinsataia with my precious chalice, I gaze at this rich and generous land of vineyards and olive trees. The wind caressing my hair, the sun kissing my face, and I linger here in this space-time paradox of mine for a little longer, suspended in between dream and reality. And while the young women return to their joyful endeavors overflowing with life, and the men organize the usual hunting party, a distinguished gentleman behind me with his gaze lost in the immensity of the landscape himself, says to me in a firm tone of voice: “Would you dare say, Miss Augusta, that the earth means nothing to you? But the land is the only thing worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” Gerald O’Hara, I thought right away! But something did not fit, the accent was definitely Tuscan. I did not turn around for fear that the magic spell would end and the moment would fade: You are perfectly right sir, happy and honored to have met you, my dear Ugo Contini Bonacossi!
Tenuta di Capezzana is a true corner of paradise not too far from Florence; it is the perfect getaway for those who want to escape the frenzy of everyday life and rediscover the taste for authentic and genuine things! Let yourself be lulled by the rhythm of the past and the kindness and hospitality of the Contini Bonacossi Family in these elegant and cozy rooms in perfect Tuscan country style.
“A week, a day, just an hour is sometimes worth a lifetime…”… or as long as it takes to find peace of mind and a true sense of things, under the Tuscan sun, always in the company of an excellent glass of wine: there is something for everyone here after all!