The Medieval castle of Strozzavolpe stands guard over the town of Poggibonsi, in the southwestern part of Castellina in Chianti. The castle is surrounded by 32 hectares of vineyards, which are protected by thick woods of live oaks.
Grapes have been grown on the grounds of Strozzavolpe for centuries, but it was only until recently that owner Alberto Arcangeli decided to bottle his grapes. The position is so ideal to Sangiovese that when he went to receive the approval for the DOCG, the committee informed him that his Chianti was not Chianti, but Chianti Superiore and his Riserva was not Riserva, but Gran Selezione. Only 7% of all of Chianti Classico is Gran Selezione.
Alberto has a great passion for these vineyards and the wine they produce. He has researched the original clones that once grew in the area. The stony-calcareous soil is rich in fossils and minerals, which give the wines an admirable structure. The warm days and cools nights enhance an already seductive bouquet. Alberto sustainably farms 25 hectares of Chianti and 7 hectares of Chianti Classico.
As with any genuine castle, there is also a great legend. The story goes that when the castle was being built in 1154, there was a huge and ferocious fox that roamed the land. He would attack and maul anyone who ventured on the land, and he was even said to have fire coming out of his eyes and its mouth. The prince, determined to build his castle on this strategic hilltop, rounded up his bravest knights and went hunting for the fox. His army, however, proved no match for the savage animal – half of them were quickly decimated. The prince himself finally cornered the fox in a tree and managed to get a lasso around his neck. As the fox leaped from the tree to attack the prince, he was hung by the lasso. And so, the castle earned its name, Strozzavolpe, which means “hang the fox.”
But the legend doesn’t end there. The prince's wizard warned him that the castle he was about to build would only last as long as the body of the fox. To ensure the longevity of his castle, the prince immediately ordered that the fox be embalmed & stuffed with liquid gold. The fox was then buried deep in the foundation of the castle. It is said that when the moon is full, the fox can be seen wandering the grounds of the castle.
What does Alberto think of the hanging fox? He says as long as he doesn't get into the cellars and drink up his precious Chianti Classico, he is free to roam the grounds.