A fun thing to do while in Italy is to visit a vineyard and winery and sample some of the country’s excellent wine. In the magnificent Maremma you will find one of the most beautiful wineries you will ever see.
Rocca di Frassinello is a joint venture between an Italian, Castellare di Castellina, and a French producer, Domaines Baron de Rothchild-Lafite…the first time this has happened.
Good wine is first made in the vineyard and the vines are tended lovingly. The perfect grape variety is chosen to suit the terroir and are carefully coaxed into growing the best fruit to make the wine.
The winery building was designed by Renzo Piano. It is absolutely stunning and seems to float like a magic carpet over the surrounding Maremma countryside.
The design is ingenious. The very heart of the winery is the barrel room where the wine improves in the barrel. The 40 x 40 metre room sits right in the centre of the building, underground, so the wine can have the perfect temperature and humidity. Walking into it is like walking into an auditorium with the barrels as the audience.
The production area is outside the square. On 2 sides are the steel tanks, each linked to a chute that comes from the courtyard at the top of the building. The grapes arrive at the courtyard in crates and are carefully sorted on a bench to remove any foreign bodies and dropped into the chutes and the tanks. It is a brilliant idea…so much more gentle on the grapes, ensuring that they reach the tanks in the best possible condition.
On our visit we tried four of the wines of Rocca di Frassinello. We began with Vermentino, the first white wine produced in the winery. It is a delicate and fruity wine, perfect for a summer lunch.
Next came the Poggia alla Guardia, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvingon and Sangioveto, making a strong, but very easy to drink fresh wine.
Then followed Le Sughere di Frassinello, a perfect blend of France and Italy, vibrant and intense.
Rocca di Frassinello is the top label ‘le grand vin’. It achieved its peak right from the first harvest in 2004…a wine able to mix strength, intensity and elegance.
To celebrate the 10 harvest at Rocca di Frassinello, well known artist and photographer, David La Chapelle designed the Limited Edition labels after falling in love with Rocca di Frassinello. He was inspired to create Rapture of the Grape, a harvest romance…an ode to wine.
Our visit was kindly organised by Hotel Cala del Porto during our stay there…one of the many services they offer their lucky guests.
Debra Kolkka writes two blogs, Bagni di Lucca and Beyond and Bella Bagni di Lucca. With a background in fashion, this Australian splits her life between her home country and her beloved Italy, enjoying the best of both worlds. You can find Debra on her blogs.
Photos by Debra Kolkka
Rocca di Frassinello vineyard is just a short drive from Hotel Cala del Porto which can also arrange a visit for you like the one featured above.
Check out the other Punta Ala signature experiences for a truly unforgettable stay in this secret gem of Tuscany.