When we think of Chianti it is often easy to only consider the larger winemakers, such as the Antinori family. After all, they have made such a large impression on the winemaking world that it often feels as though their wine is all encompassing, making it the be all and end all of great Chianti.
However, it is important to remember that there are a lot of smaller producers who are well worth exploring in your quest to find the perfect Chianti. After all, there are many different varieties of the drink and you never know what you’re going to find without doing a little bit of exploring.
There are a lot of comparatively smaller producers who are slowly making a name for themselves in the same region, one of which is Castello Di Radda. While they may not have the long and documented history of a winemaker like Antinori, that doesn’t mean that they should be entirely discounted from the conversation when you are looking for great wine.
Here we will take a more in-depth look at the producer and the many wonderful things that it has to offer when it comes to the world of Italian wine.
While the history of Castello Di Radda stretches back a little bit further, the company truly came to prominence in 2003, when it was acquired by the Beretta family. They approached the winemaker with the goal of increasing their own interests in the industry and expanding into the Chianti region so that they could further make a name for themselves as producers of high quality wine. Their family company already had an established reputation at this point but, like all great winemakers, they are constant in their pursuit of creating the best possible wines, which inspired the desire to find another winemaker that would allow them to explore other vintages and bring their expertise to a whole new wine.
They found that winemaker in Castello Di Radda. Located on the eastern hills that overlook the small town of Radda, which is right in the heart of the Chianti region, Castello Di Radda already had a fairly food reputation, particularly amongst the local populace, for the quality of the wines that they produced. Their vineyards were particularly suited to the cultivation of important grapes like Sangiovese and Canaiolo, making them the ideal target for a company that could expand their business interests whilst also bringing new ideas to the table in regards to the way that they make their wine.
Lo Sparviere, which is the company owned by the previously mentioned Beretta family, recognised this potential and set the wheels in motion to combine their business acumen and pre-established reputation with the quality and potential that they saw in Castello Di Radda. Their project was one of recovery of the great lands which were capable of producing such wonderful wines and they quickly set about revitalising around 45 hectares of land to ensure it was rich enough to support the grape. They also set about modernising the company, constructing a brand new cellar under the watchful eye of the great architect Spartaco Mori, bringing Castello Di Radda into the 21st century as a result.
Tis modernisation is combined with a deep respect for the land and the history that it carries with it. This is why the company have gone to such great lengths to integrate their winemaking activities into the land itself, not only in regards to the grapes that are being grown, but also when it comes to the structures that are so important to Italian winemakers.
As such, the family have also constructed a new building which is carved directly into the natural rock, offering visitors the opportunity to intimately experience the land where the wines come from. The building itself is completely underground and has very little impact on the natural energy and environment on the surrounding vineyards, allowing for the grape to reflect its own environment even more vividly.
Today that building, and the vineyards as a whole, plays host to a gorgeous wine tasting room, beautiful stone facades, stunning gardens and many other features that make a visit worthwhile both for people who love Italian wine and those who simply enjoy being surrounded by the natural beauty of an area that is renowned for its culture and history.
This dedication has allowed Castello Di Radda to build a sterling reputation in a very short period of time and today they manufacture three wines that have achieved the coveted DOCG status, marking them out as examples of particularly high quality. We will be taking a look at one of those wines in a little more detail below, so you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for when you spend your money.
A holder of the vaunted DOCG classification, which means that the wine has been tested and certified as one of the most prominent examples of quality within the Chianti classification, the Castello di Radda Chianti Riserva 2011 is a true joy for all of the senses and is a wine that you must experience if you enjoy Chianti or just red wine in general.
The wine features a striking ruby red colouring that is sure to enchant the eye before you even take the time to experience the bouquet. Once it is brought to the nose, you will experience intense aromas that include forest berries with just the slightest hints of spices and vanilla, conjuring up images of a wine that is complex in nature and offers much more than meets the eye to the taste.
Once you introduce the one to the palette, you will be taken aback by how wonderfully balanced its taste truly is, mixing the wonderful fragrances that make up the bouquet with a complexity that is sure to keep you guessing as you drink. A persistent aftertaste that sits pleasantly on the tongue concludes the drink, making it the ideal choice for a dinner party.