Saturday 23 October 2021 at our company we celebrated sixty years of activity with a vertical in the barrel room, a tasting of old vintages – Chianti Classico 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014 (Magnum, Chianti Classico Riserva il Drugo), 2016 , 2017, 2018 – and a lunch with the dishes of chef Matteo Caccavo of Osteria Il Pratellino. Eight vintages in the presence of professionals including sommeliers, journalists and bloggers from the sector.
The event was introduced and presented by Leonardo Romanelli, a well-known gastronome, journalist and sommelier, and Giampaolo Chiettini, an oenologist who has been involved in the Santo Stefano company for years.
“Santo Stefano is a family business that is located in a land that has an important history, – says Giampaolo Chiettini – in 1716, the year in which Cosimo III determined the boundaries of Chianti, it was said that in this area there were wines that ‘could navigate’, that is, also suitable for export because they would not have wasted; here there is fabric, there is character, they are wines to drink. Our greatest work is in the vineyard during the harvest, only the best grapes will be vinified for our labels, and in difficult years, such as 2014, we always manage to find the vineyard that best responds to adversity “.
Many journalists and bloggers attended the tasting, including the AIS delegate for Tuscany Massimo Castellani, who focused particularly on the stylistic choices of the wines.
“For me it was very important to visit the vineyards and understand what the lands and the processes are done, – says Castellani – the solution found for the Il Drugo 2014 reserve was a winner, only the Sobole vineyard, which I was able to visit , could give the best grapes to make this wine. The oenological capacity of the company made it possible to identify the pearl that could allow it, and which somehow overcomes the stereotypes born of this vintage in Chianti. “
A day full of satisfactions for us brothers, for years we have been passionately following the production of the wines of our family farm, and we are constantly engaged in a process of research and improvement of our wines.
“Our father Mauro Bendinelli, a lawyer originally from Certaldo, bought the estate, consisting of the village, the forest with the olive grove and the vineyards in 1961 and in 1963 joined the Chianti Classico Consortium; we are proud to be part of the historic Chianti Classico wineries. – tell Maria, Chiara, Anna, Bruno, Agostino and Elena Bendinelli – Initially this wanted to be a second holiday home, also designed for our grandparents. The vineyards until then had been followed by sharecroppers but over time my father dedicated himself to them, he rolled up his sleeves with passion, involving the whole family. The wine continued to do so both in bulk and in a few bottles for friends or small sales. He handled everything a good farmer and that was it. We brothers entered a little at a time, also doing other jobs, until in 2000 we decided to manage everything ourselves and founded the company.
Over the years we have replanted new vineyards, we have also dealt with the company reorganization, with an oenologist, the technicians who support us in the work, and we intervened both from a technological point of view in the cellar, renewing the vinification and refining part, but above all by investing in the vineyards. In addition to this, we have also focused on direct sales and on agritourism, but also on exports, in particular with America and Germany. “
The menu of Osteria Il Pratellino is much appreciated, served in the splendid farmhouse barrel room and composed of an exquisite sauce of local organic lentils, seasonal cabbage and broccoli and fried bread wafer as an appetizer while, as first courses, those present were able to taste Tuscan red onion carabaccia with ricotta and onion ravioli au gratin with Gran Mugello and a pumpkin and Cinta Senese sausage risotto with goat cream and almonds. As a second course, the Cinta Senese pork loin with rustic carrot puree with ginger was served and, finally, a must of traditional Tuscan cuisine, that is, a delicious English soup with Alkermes from Florence.
Our family’s greatest commitment is to keep the peculiarities of this historic village intact in the Chianti hills, respecting biodiversity and the perfect balance between nature and technology.
“These places must be truly lived, guests feel part of a context and want to take part in it in all senses – explain Elena, Chiara and Agostino – The cut of our farm is very familiar, the visitor here always finds a person who welcomes him and transmits warmth to him “.
With this year’s harvest, the new vineyards planted in 2018 also came into production, this allowed us to think about the production of a new type of wine: it will in fact be a new high-end IGT, which will celebrate the 60th year of activity of the Fattoria Santo Stefano winery.