Fattoria Casaloste in Panzano in Chianti
When you take the small gently turning road, lined by a small stone wall, you cannot imagine to what kind of jewel of fine wine it leads you amidst the hills of Panzano in Chianti. Giovanni Battista d'Orsi is the owner of the winery, and he himself describes it with the motto "La piccola fattoria dei grandi vini", or the small winery with great wines. The experienced agronomist and oenologist runs the Fattoria Casaloste together with his wife Emilia.
A wine gem in Tuscany
They both come from Naples and discovered "Casaloste" during a visit to Chianti Classico and fell immediately in love with this little corner of the world. To cut the long story short: they bought the winery in 1992, moved to Panzano and from then on put all their passion into the making of wines. Casaloste has a total of 19 hectares of land, 10.5 of which are planted with vines and 2 with olive trees.
The organic pioneers
From the very first second Giovanni Battista d'Orsi was sure of one thing: his vineyard was to be managed according to biological criteria. Said - done! In 1994 Casaloste was the first winery in Panzano to be certified as organic. This means that no chemical sprays are used here. Or the energy needed for cellars, vineyards and agriturismo is generated by solar panels. Thanks to its organic certification, Fattoria Casaloste is also one of the pioneers of today's so-called "organic district" in and around Panzano in Chianti. And Casaloste is of course a member of the Unione di Viticoltori di Panzano, which has put "organic" at first place on its list.
The vineyards of Casaloste are situated along the road from Panzano to Greve in Chianti. Since the vines grow in a slightly lower location than many other vineyards in Panzano - namely in the Greve valley - the wines develop a very independent characteristic and personality. And accordingly, the different sites also bear resounding names such as "vineyard of the snake" or "vineyard of the cherry". Interesting detail at Casaloste is that the autochthonous Sangiovese grapes clearly play the main role with a share of 85 percent of all vines. In addition they have a bit of Merlot and only tiny amounts of Ancelotta and Canaiolo.
The small winery ...
The wines are made from first-class organic grapes. The Chianti Classico is of course the first to be produced, containing 90 per cent Sangiovese and 10 per cent Merlot. Followed by Chianti Classico Riserva, from 95 per cent Sangiovese, rounded off with a blend of five per cent Merlot and other varieties. First in 2011 was made the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione "Casaloste", which is vinified from 100 per cent Sangiovese grapes from various vineyards.
... with great wines
The grapes for the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione "Don Vincenzo" come from a single vineyard. The Inversus Toscana IGT is with an "inverse" composition to the Chianti Classico: 90 per cent Merlot and 10 per cent Sangiovese are used for this wine. Altogether the wines from Casaloste have a special style - they are dense, full and "warm". And a real Tuscan meal should not be without a first-class olive oil - for example the extra virgin olive oil from Casaloste.
Bella Napoli meets ...
Emilia and Giovanni are fully devoted to Panzano, but at Casaloste you can feel and see their origins from Naples. For example you can see Vesuvius on some bottle labels, but you can also feel the Neapolitan flair at the winery. San Gennaro, the saint patron of the city of Naples, also has its place at Casaloste. Emilia and Giovanni are convinced that the saint patron of Naples holds his protective hand over Panzano because even when it rains and hails all around - thanks to San Gennaro the sun laughs from the sky in Panzano.
... bella Toscana
Another example is that the name of the Gran Selezione - Don Vincenzo, was the father of Giovanni. The hospitality and warm welcome here at Casaloste is also typical "Napoli". Two small, lovingly furnished apartments and a pool surrounded by olive trees invite guests to spend their holidays at Casaloste in Panzano in Chianti.