Domenico Poggialli founded Fattoria di Fèlsina in 1966 on one of the finest terrains in Tuscany. Fèlsina forged its reputation as a ‘border land’ as it is located on the southernmost boundary of Chianti Classico. To the south is the Colli Senesi, marking an administrative and geological shift. In 1995 Beppe purchased an old vineyard nearby in Pagliarese, also in Chianti Classico, allowing for replanting of much of the original vineyards. To appreciate Fèlsina’s wines is to understand its deep connection to its terroir and devotion to the Sangiovese grape.
It shows dense and deep characters of red fruits, rose petal, fruit cake and aniseed. The palate was long, clean with a hint of oak. It is a focussed and structured wine. Already having a few years under its belt it is starting to show its best but will hold its peak for another 7 or so years. In the past it has proved sucessful with Scopri’s Lamb neck braised in red wine with grilled polenta and Mt Macedon pine mushrooms.
Sangiovese – Widely cultivated across Italy from Emilia-Romagna to Campania and producing as much wine as Barbera. A wide range of clones and hugely diverse growing conditions sees the variety represent easy drinking ‘quaffers’, all the way to benchmarks such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Sangiovese di Romagna and Morellino di Scansano.
Chianti Classico DOCG – Italy’s most famous wine region. Beautiful lightly wooded rolling hills covered in vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees. The reds from Chianti Classico received its greatest boost in quality from being awarded the much more stringent DOCG rating.
Central Italy – When most people think of Central Italy they think of Tuscany. Not surprisingly because Chianti is an ocean of vineyards within the winegrowing region of Central Tuscany. Chianti produces more than 750000 hectolitres of wine each year. Tuscany’s wine history starts somewhere in the 8th-5th Century BCE when it was part of Etruria. Vernaccia from San Gimignano and reds from Montepulciano were known and loved before the Renaissance. The Tuscany we know now started in 19th Century with Chianti gaining the ascendancy. Brunello di Montalcino debuted in 1888 and the Super Tuscans took shape in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Beyond Tuscany there are the magically places of Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo and Umbria. Each place has its own history and personality that really deserve a night of their own. Better still, a few nights in situ.