Wine degustation of Casalvento and Livernano in the heart of Chianti
Rainy weather this year caught up with us also in Tuscany. But, what’s better than the bad weather, when there are fabulous wineries around. The Degustazioni (Degustation) sign invites us to walk along the gravel road between the cypresses and a minute to get to Casalvento’s winery terrace and enjoy the fabulous views of the magnificent Val di Chiana valley. Eager for new wine knowledge and tastes, we go to Julia’s company on a wine tour, which naturally starts from the fields and vineyards and culminates in a wine tasting of Casalvento and Livernano.
You can not help but see the symbol of the winery – the image of the two-faced god Janus. The two-reed Janus is a trademark of the winery and its most iconic red wine Casalvento Janus. In fact, the history of the winery’s trade mark is as follows: soon after Casalvento’s purchase, the owner walked along one of the paths through the property, kicking something small and unusual. He had removed the scars of time, accumulated dirt, and in his hands remained an ancient coin with the face of the god Janus. Used about 3500 years ago by the Romans, the coin shows a two-dimensional image of Janus, a god looking towards the future and the past. Seeing a good sign in the find, Janus became a preserved sign of the estate and of the flagship red wine Casalvento Janus.
We have arrived at the mansion of the visionary entrepreneur Robert Cuillo and his wife Gudrun, who in 1997 bought the site, restored it and regained its former beauty. Casalvento is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. Today Casalvento is a modern wine cellar surrounded by forests and in perfect harmony with the surrounding countryside.
Their other property near here is Livernano.
Acquired in 2002, Livernano is not only a boutique hotel, but also a top winery. Once upon a time Etruscan fortress, the settlement of Livernano dates back to 500 BC. From the seventeenth century to the Second World War, it is an agricultural village that produces corn and livestock. The village was abandoned when people left the province to work in larger cities. When the Cuillo family acquired the land, there was not much left there. Resolved to restore its original appearance, they had gone to the archives of Siena and discover old records from the Middle Ages and had reconstruct the settlement, stone by stone. Naturally, they also bring modern amenities to make it beautiful and functional.
Plant new vineyards Sangiovese, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc while expanding other agricultural opportunities. Although there are existing olives, they plant 1600 new trees. Restore and expand the garden with other trees – chestnuts, pears, apples, plums, cherries. They have bee hives and make their own honey. They grow sunflower and lavender as well as all vegetables traditionally grown in the region. In their property they also produces other exceptional products. From the olives they make olive oil. They also have balsamic vinegar that they are very proud of. Cuillos are so dedicated to the quality that they make wine only when the conditions and the year are perfect. If the year is too rainy or the grape is not good and the sugar content is too low, they sell the juice or transfer it to Modena to turn it into balsamic vinegar (the consignment arrives after 15 years of aging, now you understand how valuable is balsamico). Patience and time are the basis of true and good food and wine. The family prepares a cooking book with 365 easy, 20-minute recipes, so people can enjoy wonderful, healthy food even if they have a busy schedule.
The wines of Casalvento and Livernano are “organic”, starting with the harvest of 2015.
The owners say, “Whatever God gives us – whether fruit or vegetables – we do something of it.” “We are doing whole organic farming. We grow our own truffles and make grappa and jam. Our motto is: Life is too short to drink bad wine. We believe and live in this way. “
Over the years, the winery Livernano has won many awards, such as Tre Bicchieri (The Three Glasses) by Gambero Rosso guide – this is the most prestigious wine award in Italy. Another important prize is the Los Angeles County Fair Gold Medal in the US and the high ratings of Wine Spectator and other wine guides. Only 10 km away from each other, the two properties of Livernano and Casalvento are among the most prestigious and luxurious properties in the region. The wines that are made here are extremely high-quality, award-winning. Casalvento wines win prizes in different races and 90+ points from Robert Parker, Wine Spectator и Wine & Spirits. (Robert Parker is a legend in the world of wine, he is the most influential wine critic in the world, and his ratings based on a 100-point scale known as the Parker Scale are a major factor in determining the price of certain wines.)
From the Casalvento wine tour, we learned about both the new technologies and the classic and romantic aspects of wine making. The cellar and vineyards are 600 meters above sea level. Here they follow the line of the perfect combination of traditions and innovations. The success of the wine is due to the good cooperation between the owners and the world-famous oenologist Stefano Chioccioli. Part of the grapes fermented in huge modern oak pots, of course, of French oak. From the process of fermentation, aging and bottling, everything is made with extreme care and attitude.
Casalvento and Livernano you can try at the US Embassy in Italy, in the first class of the Lufthansa airline, in Palm Beach wine boutique shops, in the top restaurants: The Breakers in Palm Beach; Hotel Lowes, Miami Beach; Table 26 and Café Sapori, West Palm Beach; NYY and Sorrisi Restaurant at Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek; Vic & Angelo’s, Delray Beach; and many others.
It is time for tasting
On the enormous glass wrought iron table in the tasting room 10 bottles awaits for us. We start with one white wine and rosé, and then switch to the rich assortment of red wines of Casalvento and Livernano. Our guide Julia tells us about the wines and the grape varieties. The varieties grown here are mainly Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name of the Sangiovese variety in translation means “Jupiter’s blood” and is supposed to be an ancient variety known to the Etruscans on these lands. Probably his homeland is right here in Tuscany. The wine we taste is proudly clinging to the black cock sign of the Chianti Classico consortium. By dedicating us to the miracle of making wine and tasting the blood of Jupiter and under God’s oversight of Janus, we are drunk with pleasure and enjoys the pleasure of drinking wine in Tuscany.
Casalvento, Loc Casalvento 53017
The Council in Chianti (SI) – tel. + 39 0577 738967