In the heart of Chianti Classico, Tuscany, lies Tenuta Casenuove, on an area of 120 hectares, in an evocative succession of hills and valleys.
Philippe Austruy, an entrepreneur with a passion for art, architecture and wines, bought the property in 2015 and, seduced by the place and its enormous potential, began a series of major works to renovate the estate, restore the ancient landscapes made of dry stone walls and terracing and, above all, produce excellent wines, bringing it back to its former glory.
At his side, from the beginning, Alessandro Fonseca runs the estate accompanied by the talented young winemaker Cosimo Casini, in turn assisted in the cellar by the tenacious winemaker Maria Sole Zoli.
After only five years of assiduous work Casenuove has thus regained its former splendor, and thanks to the collaboration with Galleria Continua, the project, as well as the territory and its continuous mutations, find expression in the artistic works exhibited both in the property and in the connected gallery in Panzano.
The Casenuove Estate
Just as with the restoration of the vineyards, the approach in the reconstruction of the villa was one of conservative recovery, restoring value to architectural building aspects that had been dormant over time: the exterior fixtures and windows were recovered as well as the interior doors, and the load-bearing beams were replaced and reused for the oak flooring in the rooms, suites and bathrooms.
Creating a link between the estate and the surrounding landscape are the avenue of olive trees leading to the entrance, the colorful and fragrant lemon garden and the escarpments of shrubs and flowers positioned as if to frame small glimpses of the Tuscan vineyards and hills. Tenuta Casenuove is transformed into a work of art: alive, with different angles of interpretation and, behind it, a glorious history to be told with pride and respect, while at the same time keeping an eye on the future.
The territory of Tenuta Casenuove
Tenuta Casenuove is located in Panzano on one of the best soils in Chianti Classico. Thanks to its south/southwest exposure and predominantly schistose-limestone composition, the vineyard soils are excellently exposed, warm and well drained. These prerequisites are the basic characteristics for quality viticulture.
The appellations in this area guarantee the typicality and inimitable quality of the wines produced. Chianti Classico is one of the noblest wines in the world and bears the name of the land from which it originates- a denomination in compliance with strict regulations that protect and guarantee its qualities.
The restoration of the vineyards of Tenuta Casenuove
In 2016, the first phase of Tenuta Casenuove’s vineyard restoration work began. One and a half hectares of Cabernet Franc, one and a half hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and two hectares of Sangiovese were replanted, making the latter the main variety by area planted on the estate.
The second phase of restructuring focused even more on the pedological study of the soils and viticultural potential, researching clones and indigenous grape varieties as a function of a marked desire to enhance typical products of the Panzano and Chianti Classico area. So in 2018, varieties such as Canaiolo, Colorino and Ciliegiolo, historically recognized as complementary grape varieties that are components of Chianti Classico, were integrated at Casenuove.
Under the leadership of Alessandro Fonseca, the enthusiasm of the team of young people who work every day at Casenuove, combined with the foresight of Philippe Austruy, is the mix that allows the estate to undertake ambitious projects aimed at innovating the wine sector.
The shift to organic production is an emblematic example. Carried out by winery manager and sustainable production expert Maria Sole Zoli, the transition to organic winemaking processes began in 2018, the year in which Tenuta Casenuove joined the Unione Viticoltori di Panzano, Italy’s first organic wine district.
Another project put in place in the name of innovation and the desire to enhance the natural characteristics of the territory is the “Le Terrazze” project. The brainchild of Cosimo, this blueprint consists of the restoration of the semi-abandoned terraces that run down the hill towards the Pesa River. Following the principles of this true “art,” native vines were planted, cultivated with Lamolese sapling, typical and traditional of the area.
Harvesting is done exclusively by hand and, upon arrival at the winery, the grapes are selected twice before reaching the vats. Only the most perfect and ripe berries are put to ferment in concrete tanks where fermentation and maceration are assisted by delicate pumping over and punching down. The wine is then stored in cement or steel tanks while awaiting transfer to the cooperage for aging, which lasts from ten to twenty months depending on its final destination.
The wines of Tenuta Casenuove
There are four labels produced by Tenuta Casenuove: IGT Toscana Rosso, Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva and Ziik Rosé.
The IGT Toscana Rosso is a wine with an intense color and rich bouquet of black and red fruits, with an aroma of spices and mineral notes.
Chianti Classico, with an intense ruby red color with hints tending toward violet, has aromas of raspberry, violet and cherry and is distinguished on the palate by the freshness of red fruit muted by a slightly savory note on the finish.
The Chianti Classico Riserva is austere on the palate, with a fine bouquet including hints of red fruit and cherries and notes of noble wood.
Finally, the latest addition, the Ziik Rosé is a 100% Sangiovese sparkling wine, original for its rose bouquet. The flavor presents notes of red fruits, wild strawberries and currants. It is distinguished by a dry and persistent finish.