10/12/2006 -

Having just returned from Italy, I have the pleasure of reminiscing about my visit to one of the most influential estates in Tuscany.  Southeast of Sienna, lies Fattoria di Fèlsina in the sleepy village of Castelnuevo Berardenga.  I had heard of Fèlsina for two reasons: number one, they were an early proponent of bottling Chianti exclusively from Sangiovese,  and secondly, they were receiving great press in Italy.  In a short amount of time they have recieved 19 Tre Bicchieri (three glass) awards from the influential Italian wine publication, Gambero Rosso.  What I was unfamiliar with prior to my visit was the deep respect Fèlsina has for the land and how that affects everything they do. 

Fèlsina is a Fattoria, literally a farm and animal preserve.  On the farm they have olives (they make wonderful single varietal olive oil), goats, deer, cows, a horse, dogs, cats, pheasant, wheat and, of course, grapes.  The interconnected nature of life permeates the air at Fèlsina, even the meals served on the estate.  Everything comes from the farm, down to the wheat that makes the pasta.  

It is natural that this reverence for the land and entire farm community would spill over into the winemaking.  The viticulture is done with respect to all of these living things.  The vines have been farmed naturally for some time now and the winery is in the beginning stages of experimenting with biodynamic viticulture.  The wines already show an elegance and depth, we look forward to watching them develop.

-Jamie Wolff

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