A vast self-sufficient estate that supported 600 people during its heyday in the 19th century, the exclusive Castello Terriccio Winery extends over 1700 hectares in the northern Tuscan coastal Maremma, just 60km from the storied city of Pisa. Yes, this is a prestigious winery whose coveted reds and vibrant whites are acclaimed in top wine circles, but it is also a wonderous natural paradise, with fertile fields of wheat, eerily beautiful olive groves with a total of 12,000 trees, a horse breeding farm, and forestland that's home to wild hare, boar, hare, partridge, hawk, pheasants and deer. One of the largest estates in Tuscany, with breathtaking views of the ocean and of the islands Elba, Corsica, Capraia and Gorgona, Castello Terriccio is a fascinating place to visit on an exclusive food and wine tour.
The estate traces its roots back to the Etruscan era, when its strategic seaside location proved to be an ideal place from which to keep watch for pirates heading toward the coast. The ruins of the Terriccio castle, still visible, date to this era. The estate's real history, however, begins in the 13th century, when the Pope acquired it on behalf of the noble Gaetani family, who controlled it for 500 years, creating a successful farm and building the farmhouses and cellar that still stand today. In the late 1700s, the Gaetanis sold the estate to a Polish prince, who in turn sold it to the family of the present owner (Dr. Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana Serafini Ferri) in 1921. In 1979, Serafini Ferri suffered a serious horseback riding accident that left him in a wheelchair, and he began to focus on the estate's potential as a winery. High quality winemaking began in the late 1980s andd early 1990s, when varieties like Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were planted with great success.
The dense, powerful reds and tantalizing whites made here have found favor in the international wine community and are praised for being pure reflections of their terroir. They are often described with words like "superlative", "tremendous", "splendid" and "luscious". Castello Terriccio's most iconic wine is the renowned super Tuscan Lupicaia, grown in limestone soil in an area once known as the wolves' favorite hunting ground. This Cabernet Sauvignon blend melds lusciously rich fruit with spicy balsamic notes. Also wonderful is the Castello del Terriccio, a complex wine with a striking ruby tone, herb-like aromas that blend with spicy notes of liquorice and cinnamon, and great depth. The estate's white wines are known for being unabashedly expressive, clean creations. Harvest for all wines is done by hand across the estate's 50 hectares of vineyards. Yields are kept low (no more than 900g per vine) to ensure concentrated fruit and better-structured wines.
Images Castello del Terriccio