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Florence wine tours: Le Montanine

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Sunset over the rolling tuscan hillsides of Le Montanine and Villa Poggio with forests and blue skies and fluffy clouds ©AlonzoWright
The view from the stunning Villa Poggio just outside Florence, Italy. ©AlonzoWright

Italy is so beautiful it’s almost a cliché. The hills tumble softly across the horizon as far as the eye can see, and they’re bathed in a warm, golden light. You are there, enjoying a wine tasting in Tuscany. A tiny speck perched on one of those peaks, watching the clouds go by, so close you feel as though you could reach them with your fingertips. Nestled in the undulating hillsides of Chiesanuova, just 30 minutes away from bustling Florence, is a biodynamic gem and one of the best vineyards in Tuscany: Fattoria Montanine. Owned by the Casanova family (yes you read that correctly), the impeccable 14th-century property produces its own wine and olive oil and is a peek inside a traditional and authentic family-owned and operated winery. It is everything you’d hope it to be, old-world elegant with sweeping views of the forested hills, vineyards and olive groves.

The history of Le Montanine

Nobody quite knows for sure how old the property is, but there are historic records of it belonging to Florentine aristocrats from as far back as the 14th century. The current family, the Casanovas, have passed it down from generation to generation for nearly a hundred years. Their patriarch, Vittorio Casanova was a businessman from Monza, just north of Milan, and bought it in the 1930s as a summer home for his family to enjoy the warmth of a sun-soaked season away from the cooler climates.

But World War II was looming just on the horizon and by the 1940s, the German forces had made their way into Tuscany, forcing the family to flee north to the Lake Como region where they took shelter with other family members. The local farmers who remained, hid out in the surrounding forests, only surfacing to collect fresh water before going back into hiding. The stunning vistas and hilltops provided a high vantage point across the surrounding valleys, so the villa was quickly occupied by German commanding officers. When the bombing finally subsided, there were many casualties, and the villa was badly damaged by the constant shelling. Miraculously the local farmers and winemakers had all survived. After the war, the Casanova family returned and began the long process of repairing and restoring the property to resemble its original grandeur again.

The Tuscan wines of Fattoria Montanine: Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Governato, Passito Rosso, Vin Santo

The estate sits on 183 stunning acres of certified organic vineyards and forests with roughly 3,000 olive trees. This is the Chianti region and as such, the Chianti Colli Fiorentini DOCG with its Sangiovese, Colorino, Malvasia Nera and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and smooth finish, is not to be missed. If you’re unfamiliar with Italian wine tiering system, the DOCG classification means they have undergone very strict quality control measures that have been set in place by the Italian government. As such, the winery at Le Montanine is one of roughly 77 that gain approval to bear the esteemed distinction. The winery produces its own array of DOCG, DOC and IGT varietals all bottled and stored in the cellars onsite. When asked how they describe their biodynamic wines, their winemaker says: “The bottle is not a sarcophagus but a second womb where the essence of days of labor, tears, sweat, laughter, anxiety and lightheartedness has been kept.”

It’s hard not understand such a romantic description when you learn they use the natural elements: earth, air, fire and water as guides in their agricultural processes. The tilling, sowing and pruning all follow an almanac calendar that tracks the passage of the sun and moon through the constellations. They also create their own compost that is dissolved to liquid and then added to a finely ground quartz and spring water mixture, then sprayed on the vines at dawn. If it hasn’t been expressly pointed out yet, there is so much love and soul in this winery and their products.


**Want authentic Tuscan olive oil shipped straight to your home? Check out a few of our family-owned, small business favorites on Amazon: Fattoria Bini Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the 2020 harvest or the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition Gold Award-winner</