The Fontodi estate is found in Panzano in the heart of the Chianti Classico region where vines have been cultivated since Roman times. Its owners since 1968, the Manetti family also have many centuries of history here, not as wine producers but as manufacturers of the terracotta tiles for which the region is also famous. Since they bought this great estate they have invested much time, effort and money in making it one of the most highly regarded of all Chianti Classico producers.
The Fontodi vineyards, now fully mature, are centred on the magnificently placed conca d'ora (golden shell), an amphitheatre of sun-soaked vineyards to the south-west of the village of Panzano. Lying at 400m above sea level, which is relatively high for Chianti, they are well placed to ensure that that the fruit has fresh, balancing acidity to balance its richness. The grapes are all organically grown, as is increasingly the case with neighbouring growers in Panzano, thanks to the pioneering Manettis' powers of persuasion.
Currently in charge is Giovanni Manetti helped by his cousin Marco and respected oenologist Franco Bernabei who was hired by the family to assist with winemaking. Together the trio has been active in upgrading many practices at Fontodi including the construction of an ultra-modern winery and barrel cellar. All the wines are aged in French oak for between 12-24 months with the best cuvées aged in a high percentage of new oak and the second wines going into the older barrels.
Whilst always looking forward and modernising Giovanni Manetti is a respecter of tradition, evident in a portfolio of stylish wines that unmistakably reflect their sense of place. They include Chianti Classico, the Riserva bottling Vigna del Sorbo, which is predominantly old-vine sangiovese with around 10% cabernet sauvignon, and Flaccianello della Pieve, made from pure sangiovese, rigorously selected.