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Masters of Wine: Sommelier and Producer Guide the Way


Wine tasting in Chianti has never been like this! Spend the day with world famous “sommelier to the stars,” Filippo Bartolotta at the exquisite 18th century Castello Monsanto in the heart of Tuscany’s stunning Chianti Classico region. Filippo teams up with your hostess Laura Bianchi, daughter of the owner, renowned Tuscan wine producer, Fabrizio Bianchi, to create the most engaging luxury wine experience, giving you unique insight into the insider’s world of Italian wine.

The search for excellence

Castello Monsanto Chianti wines are a fine example of the results achieved by Tuscan winemakers since the 1960’s.  In true Super Tuscan fashion, the Bianchi family cast off the chains of local Italian wine regulations and concentrated on working with the indigenous sangiovese red grape, to produce one of the very first single vineyard “cru” wines in Tuscany.  The Chianti Classico Poggio Riserva, first produced in 1962 and only produced in years when the conditions are perfect, continues to score over 90 in wine tastings around the world. When you visit Monsanto as an honored guest, you know you will be treated to romantic rolling Tuscan countryside, enchanting historic grounds and delicious wines of excellent quality...

Castello Monsanto Chianti wines are a fine example of the results achieved by Tuscan winemakers since the 1960’s.  In true Super Tuscan fashion, the Bianchi family cast off the chains of local Italian wine regulations and concentrated on working with the indigenous sangiovese red grape, to produce one of the very first single vineyard “cru” wines in Tuscany.  The Chianti Classico Poggio Riserva, first produced in 1962 and only produced in years when the conditions are perfect, continues to score over 90 in wine tastings around the world. When you visit Monsanto as an honored guest, you know you will be treated to romantic rolling Tuscan countryside, enchanting historic grounds and delicious wines of excellent quality.  

Wine tasting in Chianti is not only for red wine lovers.  Continuing the search for excellence outside the existing regulations, production at Castello Monsanto now encompasses an award winning chardonnay aged for six months in oak, giving off luminous golden tones, a bouquet of exotic fruit with notes of singed citrus, and a fresh, soft, balanced finish.  The winery also produces a Bolgheri style cabernet sauvignon called Nemo, rich in woodsy tones of moss and fern, wild red berries and peppery spice. Velvety tannins and a mineral finish point to the 18 months in small French oak barrels.

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The most historic part of the Chianti region

Castello Monsanto Chianti is overseen by the Bianchi family.  Although the castle itself has nestled deep in the heart of the most historic part of the Chianti region since the 1700’s, it didn’t find its way into the capable hands of the Bianchi family until 1961.  Aldo Bianchi, a native born Tuscan who left the gentle hills of his birth before World War II for the rugged land of northern Piemonte, returned to Tuscany for a family wedding in 1960. His love for the misty water colored hills and valleys of the Chianti region returned with a passion and he bought Castello Monsanto the following year.  His son, Fabrizio, raised in the wine making traditions of his grandparents in Piemonte, moved south to join his father and take over the vineyard at Castello Monsanto Chianti...

Castello Monsanto Chianti is overseen by the Bianchi family.  Although the castle itself has nestled deep in the heart of the most historic part of the Chianti region since the 1700’s, it didn’t find its way into the capable hands of the Bianchi family until 1961.  Aldo Bianchi, a native born Tuscan who left the gentle hills of his birth before World War II for the rugged land of northern Piemonte, returned to Tuscany for a family wedding in 1960. His love for the misty water colored hills and valleys of the Chianti region returned with a passion and he bought Castello Monsanto the following year.  His son, Fabrizio, raised in the wine making traditions of his grandparents in Piemonte, moved south to join his father and take over the vineyard at Castello Monsanto Chianti.

Within sight of the ancient towers of San Gimignano and making the most of the cooling breezes through the Valley d’Elsa, Fabrizio Bianchi brought modern thinking and technique to the old vines on his property.  He revitalized Castello Monsanto Chianti with the use of stainless steel fermenting tanks, replanted vineyards with grape varietals in keeping with his vision for modern wine making and passionately committed himself to producing excellent wines.  In the 1980’s Bianchi undertook an epic project, the design and creation of an underground tunnel constructed completely from hand hewn marl stone ploughed out of the fields of his vineyards. The 300m tunnel took six years to complete, using a medieval technique of arched wooden ribs to form a lowered Etruscan style arch.  Fabrizio’s daughter, Laura Bianchi, began work in the winery in 1989. Since 2001 she and her father have formed an impressive partnership, making wines of excellence and offering personal, private luxury wine experience, for specially selected wine tasting in Chianti.

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Touring and Tasting

Castello Monsanto Chianti opens its arms and its bottles to you, for an unforgettable winery visit with acclaimed wine raconteur Filippo Bartolotta and wine maker Laura Bianchi sharing their professional insights and personal knowledge as they guide you through a luxury wine experience, touring Castello Monsanto, the vineyards, the winery operations and tasting their fine wines and local produce in the historic atmosphere of the castle.  Filippo is a world renowned wine expert, having hosted the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and the Obama family at private tastings. The Bianchi passion is easy to see in their family philosophy, with the evocative words, “in every sip of wine exists the emotion of our history, . . . the knowledge that we walk upon a treasure,” that have accompanied the Bianchi family since their first harvest in 1962. Filippo and Laura fill your day with their own personal charm and highly entertaining untold stories of Italian wine...

Castello Monsanto Chianti opens its arms and its bottles to you, for an unforgettable winery visit with acclaimed wine raconteur Filippo Bartolotta and wine maker Laura Bianchi sharing their professional insights and personal knowledge as they guide you through a luxury wine experience, touring Castello Monsanto, the vineyards, the winery operations and tasting their fine wines and local produce in the historic atmosphere of the castle.  Filippo is a world renowned wine expert, having hosted the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and the Obama family at private tastings. The Bianchi passion is easy to see in their family philosophy, with the evocative words, “in every sip of wine exists the emotion of our history, . . . the knowledge that we walk upon a treasure,” that have accompanied the Bianchi family since their first harvest in 1962. Filippo and Laura fill your day with their own personal charm and highly entertaining untold stories of Italian wine.  

Your visit to Castello Monsanto Chianti will be perfumed with the tangy scent of fermenting grape skins and oak barrels resting quietly in the cool, damp, underground tunnel that joins the ancient stone cellars under the castle.  A stroll through the vines gives you a spectacular view of this cherished and timeless jewel in the crown of Italian wine making. Laura and Filippo share a passion for the wines of Tuscany, the long history behind them and the modern day challenges facing the industry.  Together they enhance your discovery of the winery with anecdotes known only to true insiders, told with Italian sparkle, charisma and joy. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the castle, the rolling Tuscan countryside and the wonderful wines opened for your appreciation. To complete your experience of the winery you will enjoy a traditional, informal lunch prepared with love by the experienced cooks of Castello Monsanto Chianti and served on the heavenly terrace or in the classic lemon arcade, depending upon the vagueries of the weather.  Each dish is expertly paired with wines from the castle cellar, including both recent and older vintages. Filippo and Laura share the meal with you in true Italian style, guaranteeing it is a lunch you will always remember. An enogastronomic dream come true in a setting of graceful beauty, steeped in Italian wine making passion and history.

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