In the heart of Chianti Classico, Fonterutoli Castle, a historic property of the Marquis Mazzei family, is a fascinating wine resort where you can experience the romantic atmosphere of medieval Tuscan villages as well as of the best winemaking tradition.
Nestled between the woods and the beautiful hillside vineyards of Chianti, the village of Fonterutoli is also known as Castello di Fonterutoli in memory of the ancient medieval building that dominated the Val d’Elsa, a strategic outpost in the long war between Siena and Florence since the year one thousand. Today, the property includes, in addition to the beautiful Cantina Castello di Fonterutoli – Marchesi Mazzei, a wine resort, a wine bar and the gourmet restaurant Osteria di Fonterutoli, just perfect for immersing yourself in the atmosphere and flavors of the most authentic Tuscany.
Fonterutoli, which owes its name to the homonymous family originally from these places, became part of the properties of the Marquises Mazzei in 1435 following the marriage between Smeralda Mazzei, daughter of Ser Lapo Mazzei, “the subtle notary” considered the father of Chianti Classico, and Piero Agnolo of Fonterutoli. The two had no children and, upon Piero’s untimely death, the Mazzei family inherited the entire estate, developing, over the years, an excellent wine production.
I believe that if you indulge in a wine that is according to your nature, you wouldn’t need another doctor to restore your strength.(Ser Lapo Mazzei)
Fonterutoli maintains the charm of the old medieval Tuscan villages intact, among stone buildings and alleys that branch off between the houses of its 50 inhabitants, which include wood artists, sculptors and craftsmen, and the manor house. Here is also kept the family archive with documents dating from the 1500s to more recent times, including correspondence with the Machiavelli and the Vespucci families, and evidence of the important history of the Mazzei family.
Until 2006, when the new cellar was inaugurated at the foot of the hill, the village hosted a large part of the wine-growing activities which were carried out in many of the buildings now part the wine resort.
This small world suspended in time offers 19 rooms, which will increase in 2024, born from the subdivision of the original family apartments and distributed within the village. The interior design was curated by the architect Agnese Mazzei, already the “soul” of the wine cellar, who wanted to emphasize the welcoming atmosphere of the noble country houses while preserving their ancient details, such as the exposed beams and the original terracotta floors.
Obtained from an old stable in the highest part of the village, the Osteria di Fonterutoli, also open to non-guests of the structure, offers dishes prepared with local, fresh and seasonal ingredients, including the game that lives wild in the farm. Ideal for lunch or dinner, during the sunny days it offers guests a panoramic outdoor area to admire the Val d’Elsa in the shade of the centenary mulberry tree.
In addition to Osteria di Fonterutoli, in the village there is also a delightful wine bar, also open to everyone, called La Società Orchestrale (the Orchestral Society) as it was here, once upon a time, that the inhabitants of the neighboring villages met to give life to musical performances and evening concerts.
Today La Società Orchestrale is the perfect place for an informal lunch or an aperitif in the shade of the cypresses, perhaps after a jeep tour around the estate. Here it is a must to taste the delicious freshly fried tapas, including arancini with game, potatoes with melted pecorino, or the Chianti burger, to be accompanied by the excellent wines produced in the Mazzei estates, from Fonterutoli to Belguardo, in the heart of Maremma, up to the splendid Zisola winery in Sicily.
The village of Fonterutoli is the protagonist of an original legend that reveals the origin of the black rooster as a symbol of Chianti Classico. In fact, it is said that, at the beginning of the 13th century, Siena and Florence, worn out by the conflict to establish their borders, decided to rely on fate. They summoned two knights who should have left, each from their own city, at the first crowing of the rooster: the border should have been marked at the meeting point of the two. The Sienese chose a white rooster, fed it and took care of it so that it was in the best shape for the fateful day, while the Florentines chose a black rooster and denied it food and comfort. Exhausted by hunger, the black rooster crowed before dawn, giving the Florentine knight a considerable advantage. The meeting between the two took place, in fact, precisely in Fonterutoli.
Castello di Fonterutoli
Via Giacomo Puccini 4
53011 Fonterutoli, Siena
Tel. +39 0577 735790
Rooms: from 180 to 350 euro, breakfast included