Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

A few steps from the historic piazza of world known Greve in Chianti is the wine cellar of the Azienda Agricola Sagrona.

The vicinity to the town is not an obstacle: there are certainly some logistic difficulties, but there are advantages as well.

Nello Manetti is the founder of the winery, together with his brothers Brunetto and Dante. The new generations have now taken over.

“We were sharecroppers until 1960”, says Nello. “Then we ran a food shop in piazza, where our uncle, Giuliano, who couldn’t work the fields, because he was lame, worked. I worked the land and with my brothers, at the foot of the hill of Sagrona, we built the building which today is the wine cellar; this at the beginning of the 1970’s when we began making Chianti Classico”,

The farm is spread out on 25 hectares of grapevines (2 Chianti Classico), 2 and a half of olives and a half hectare of irises, which adorn the vineyards in a spectacular way at the beginning of the summer.

“At the beginning”, he tells us, “we sold in bulk. We began bottling n 1973. We made bottles, flasks, small flasks. We sold a lot to Germany and went to Florence twice a week to bring the product”.

“Here retail sales are still important, mostly with local clients. Then we have our habitual customers who arrive from all over Italy, the local restaurant market, and wine bars. And then there are the tourists, who walk down the street from piazza Matteotti and discover a wine cellar… in town”.

“We bottle circa 6000 bottles of Chianti Classico and 3000 of IGT. Our Chianti Classico is a traditional one, made mostly with the Sangiovese grape. The vineyard makes the difference”.

Then we have the cultivation of the iris which, in Greve in Chianti, has always been designated to the making of French perfume.

“Among the three (iris, olive oil, wine) the iris is probably the most marketed and involves the least bureaucracy. We grow the irises in the middle of the vineyards. Otherwise they are eaten by the hedgehogs. They require a lot of work during the period of July-August. It would be complicated to increase iris production, because it would require too much labor. But in the midst of the vineyards we continue to plant… beets”.