The historic, Medieval castle of Strozzavolpe regally stands guard over the town of Poggibonsi, on the south-western part of Castellina in Chianti and the hills of Siena. The castle is surrounded by 32 hectares of vineyards, 7 of which are in Chianti Classico. The vineyards are protected by thick woods of live oaks, and the high altitude provides an enviable and wellventilated exposition.
Grapes have always been grown on the grounds of this Medieval castle, but it is only until recently that 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. The grapes are grown using sustainable farming practices and no grapes are purchased which is why his Riserva is a Gran Selezione. Only 7% of all of Chianti Classico is Gran Selezione. This is the first time that this wine has been bottled and the first time that it has been exported. Kysela Pere et Fils has the exclusive rights to this estate.
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, was 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 leapt 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.
Alberto just laughs and shrugs his shoulders when asked about the fox. He says, that as long as he doesn't get into the cellars and drink up his precious Chianti Classico, he is free to roam the grounds.
Winery Acreage: 32 hectares (80 acres)
Varietals Produced: Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo and Pugnitello
Winemaker: Roberto Tarziolo
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. The vineyards were nearly abandoned and the grapes sold in bulk to the local cantina who greedily bought them up. Even in that state, the quality coming from the vineyards was exceptional. Now under the caring passionate hand of the owner, Alberto Arcangeli, the vineyards are returning to their formal glory.
His regular Chianti is 90% Sangiovese with small percentages of the ancient, indigenous grapes, Ciliegiolo and the rare Pugnitello, It has a luscious drinkability filled with bright cherry fruit that speaks of genuine Chianti. The bouquet is filled with red berries, in particular red currents and dark cherries, mixed with subtle spices. The finish is exceptionally elegant and long. The Chianti Classico stays 12 months in barrique. It is regal and impressively structured. The bouquet is full of rich, ripe plums and dark cherries with intriguing hints of vanilla and warm spices. It is a Classico of inherent power and great elegance.
25 ha Chianti and 7 ha Chianti Classico.
Average age of the vines is 25 years.