The Mazzei family have owned the farms and village of Fonterutoli, south of Castelnuovo Berardegna, since 1435, but brothers Filippo and Francesco, who now take care of the wine, are thoroughly up to date in their approach, seeking to grow top quality fruit and to make the most of it with gentle pressing and controlled fermentation. Their father, Lapo, is chairman of the Banca Toscana and the Mazzeis have long been driving forces in raising quality in Chianti.
The Fonterutoli estate is divided among four key production areas, and this is what gives its wines their complexity: Fonterutoli itself (planted with sangiovese and merlot); Siepi (planted with sangiovese, merlot and cabernet); Badiola (sangiovese and merlot) and Belvedere (sangiovese). The different elevations and exposures of these vineyards is a great strength. The much-respected Carlo Ferrini has given invaluable advice on care of the vineyards which has greatly enhanced the quality of the fruit in the last 20 years.
The brothers make full-flavoured, ripe Chiantis and Castello di Fonterutoli is the Mazzei family's top bottling, of Riserva quality and made with with finesse, style, freshness and a full middle palate. They also make the extraordinary Mix 36, the result of four decades of massal and clonal selection. 36 different biotypes go to make an outstanding pure-bred sangiovese that is wonderfully deep and complex. It is obvious that this family's long and successful history in Chianti has not seen them rest on any laurels.