Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

There’s a farm, in Radda in Chianti, with ancient historical roots: Vignavecchia exists (and is in the hands of the same family) since 1700, Minucci first and Beccari (born of Minucci) after.

The date of foundation was established in 1876 “because – as the firm explains – during a renovation in the 70s some perfectly preserved bottles were found behind a wall, among these the eldest dated from that date”.

The key character of Vignavecchia key is definitely Odoardo Beccari. His activity is a sort of legend. He was one of the most important botanists of his day, barely twenty-two, along with the Marquis Giacomo Doria, he left for London where he studied in depth at Kew Gardens. In the royal gardens befriended Charles Darwin, Hooker and Sir James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak, who Emilio Salgari turned into, with his stories, Sandokan’s enemy.

Beccari and Brook left for Malaysia and Borneo and infact these numerous writings of Beccari, became the bibliography that Salgari then used to write the adventures of Sandokan and the Malaysian pirates.Once back from his incredible travels, he devoted himself to rearrange his travel notes, writing and winemaking in the family firm: Vignavecchia.

Another key figure was Odoardo’s third son: Baccio Beccari, in fact, the engineer was among the first three founding members of the Consorzio del Marchio Storico (Consortium historical mark) in 1924 in Radda. This year the company celebrates its 140th anniversary and Orsola Beccari has the lead.

“Our winemaking philosophy – says the agronomist Antonio Piccinno – is to produce honest wines, true to the characteristics of Radda in Chianti area: beautiful scents, strong acidity, hardiness and a unique drinkability. We have some beautiful concrete tanks that surround the winery. We do not like to “pollute” our wines with the use of new wood, we use the barrels beyond the fifth step, simply through micro oxygenation”.

Their wines embody this philosophy.: “Obviously our top is the Vignavecchia basic Chianti Classico (Sangiovese and 90% Merlot 10%, aged only in concrete); then Vignavecchia Chianti Classico reserve (Sangiovese and Merlot), Chianti Classico Riserva Vineyard Odoardo Beccari (Sangiovese and Canaiolo), Radda (IGT, 100% Sangiovese), Rafflesia (Canaiolo pure, new production in 2015), Tulipa (IGT rosé 100% Sangiovese, simple soft pressure ), Titanum (IGT white, Chardonnay) and our cutting edge: Casuario (Vin Santo, 100% Malvasia Bianca, very limited production)”.

“Thanks to their great drinkability – concludes Piccinno – our wines fit a wider range of culinary combinations than others. Chianti Classico’s future? I envisage it shaped for small businesses, which are the true heart of our land, and on a territorial nature that is not marked by rich, nor great selections but by the wine that has always depicted us, basic Chianti Classico”.

Matteo Pucci