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Exclusive: Frescobaldi Extends Its Winery Holdings into Chianti Classico

The Italian wine giant buys Castello di San Donato in Perano and its 128 acres of vines in Gaiole
Photo by: Courtesy Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi
The vineyards of Castello di San Donato in Perano spread across high-altitude hillsides.

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: September 19, 2017

The Frescobaldi wine empire in Italy just got bigger. Wine Spectator has learned that the Tuscany-based wine company has acquired Castello di San Donato in Perano, a 617-acre estate with 128 acres of vineyards located in the Gaiole commune of Chianti Classico. The property had been in bankruptcy proceedings for several years. The purchase price was $15.9 million.

“I am so happy that we not only bought an estate in Chianti Classico, but we bought a premium-quality estate that happens to be in Chianti Classico,“ Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, told Wine Spectator. “The estate is magnificent and the wines are amazing. Any place where we can produce wines has a great interest for us. In addition, Chianti Classico has a great reputation and we now are ready to offer to our top clients another great wine.“

Castello di San Donato lies at an altitude between 1,500 and 1,800 feet in the northern part of the Gaiole commune, one of Chianti Classico’s historic areas known for its rugged landscape and long-lived wines. In addition to the vineyards, there are several acres of olive trees and a winery facility and large cellar on the property.

The Frescobaldi family has managed the estate since 2014, when it was held as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Later this year the company will release the 2015 vintage (they didn’t bottle 2014).

“I am not positive that we are going to keep the [San Donato] label. We will decide in the next 30 days,“ said Frescobaldi. “The 2015 is our second vintage produced and the first from us that will go to market bottled.”

With a prestigious Italian portfolio including Frescobaldi, Ornellaia, Masseto, Luce della Vite, Danzante and Attems, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi is one of Tuscany’s best-known producers. Globally, the company sells more than 850,000 cases annually.

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