Tenuta degli Dei
di Tommaso Cavalli
Tenuta degli Dei
When you go through the entrance door of the Tenuta degli Dei you enter another world - a world that looks a little more beautiful and elegant. The horses gallop over the paddocks along the road, which leads slowly down into the valley. In between, vines nestle at the slopes and llamas greet you over the gate. You are also loudly welcomed by the two dogs of Tommaso Cavalli, who lives and works here at the estate. Tommaso's father, the famous Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, bought the property in San Leolino in Panzano in Chianti in the early 70's.
Roberto und Tommaso Cavalli
The famous designer, who comes from Florence, used the estate for a long time as a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the glittering and glamorous world. Since 1989, Tommaso Cavalli and his family have been living in the estate, which covers an area of around 70 hectares. And he was the one who turned the country house into a productive company. The basis for this, however, was the breeding of trotting horses, with which Tommaso is still extremely successful internationally.
A young winery
Tenuta degli Dei has been dedicated to viticulture only since the year 2000. Tommaso chose the well-known star oenologist Carlo Ferrini to support and help him. Tommaso thought simply that it is pity that no wine is produced here in one of the best wine regions of the world and that is how he invited Ferrini to have a look at the estate. And Carlo Ferrini totally agreed with Tommaso: "The terroir and the locations are excellent!” The sunniest locations are at an altitude of 400 to 450 meters above sea level. And the ground is rich in Galestro. Altogether these are ideal conditions for viticulture.
Sangiovese & friends
Together they decided to plant only international grape varieties. For this reason only Alicante, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grow today on the five hectares of vineyards of Tenuta degli Dei. There is no Sangiovese. A second vineyard, whose grapes are also processed at the Tenuta degli Dei, is located at the family estate in Florence. More than 1,800 Alicante vines grow and thrive there. However, in contrast to the Conca d´Oro, the temperatures remain high day and night and the soil is loamy.
Forcole, Redini & Cavalli
The first Cavalli wine was a blend of five international grape varieties. Later a blend from Alicante and Merlot was produced under the name Le Redini. Since 2013 Cavalli has also a Chianti Classico with the name Forcole. Without any Sangiovese? Of course not! The Sangiovese grapes come from a vineyard near the property that Tommaso has leased. Even though the Cavalli wines have a cosmopolitan style, they reflect the terroir to its fullest. Just like Tommaso himself. Moreover, Tommaso is now switching from conventional to organic and sustainable farming - for the environment, for its animals, for its wines.
Heavenly drinking pleasure
A special feature of the Cavalli wines is that they are produced with heavenly blessing at the Tenuta degli Dei - which directly translated means "God's winery". The fermentation and maturation both take place in the immediate proximity of the Church of San Leolino - or more precisely within its walls. The cellar where the grapes are processed lie wall to wall with the church. Tomaso says with a smile: "On some days of harvest, we can listen to the reading from the Bible during making wine."
Blessing from above
And the vaults of the old wine cellar also receive the blessing from above, because these ancient walls lie directly below the church. By the way the parish church of San Leolino dates back to the year 982 and was rebuilt in the 12th century in Romanesque style. For the 1958 film "A Journey into Happiness" with Rudolf Prack and Waltraut Haas, the church and its forecourt served as the backdrop for many scenes. And when it's very quiet, you might hear the Chianti song through the vineyards...
Cavalli - top quality
The name Cavalli is a symbol worldwide for highest quality products: from the fashion creations of the designer Roberto Cavalli through the precious grappa made from their own grape marc, to Roberto Cavalli vodka. Recently a gin from Cavalli - the Ginarte, refined with herbs from Tuscany has also made its appearance. Another "hot" delicacy is the Foho Fiorentino olive oil. Hot because "Foho" means fire and because it is also a peperoncino oil.