- Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
San Ferdinando is located in the hamlet of Civitella in Val di Chiana, in the Chianti Colli Aretini area southeast of Florence. The area has an altitude and continental climate that are not dissimilar to Chianti Classico to the north. Besides vines, this area is also known for its famed Chianina breed of cattle, which often end up on the plate in the form of the bistecca fiorentina.
The estate has 62 hectares of land, with 10 under vine. It has been in the hands of the Grifoni family since 1850, but it was in 2008 that the winery was fully restored and the vineyards revitalized and converted to organic methods. Today, Simone Zucchetti, winemaker and agronomist, capably guides the wines from vine to bottle. The focus is on the indigenous varietals of the area—Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Pugnitello, and Vermentino—and finding a balance between typicity, drinkability, and value. Though farming goes well beyond the parameters of organics, San Ferdinando is not interested in getting certification, since Simone is bothered by negligent controls that have more to do with paperwork than actually inspecting the vineyards, and is he contrary to the sea of certified organic wine (but industrial wine) ending up on supermarket shelves at artificially low prices. In the cellar, fermentations occur naturally, the wines are not forced, and total SO2 levels never exceed 60mg/l (quite low, when one considers the limits in organic certification: 100mg/l for reds and 150mg/l for whites)
With their attention to detail resulting in “everyday” wines that transmit way more than quotidian emotions, San Ferdinando is undoubtedly one of the undersung gems in our Italian portfolio.