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85% Sangiovese, with Canaiolo and other indigenous red grapes from the estate. The harvest takes place between the end of September and the first two weeks of October. Following a soft pressing of the grapes, the must macerates on the skins for three weeks, with frequent pumping. Fermented with native yeasts and aged in cement tanks, the wines undergo further aging in bottle for 4-5 months before release.
The Bettarini family have farmed Fattoria di Piazzano since its inception in 1948, when Otello Bettarini, a successful manufacturer from nearby Prato, fell in love with the area’s rolling landscape and bucolic charm. But winemaking in these tufted hills south of Empoli goes back considerably farther than that; archeological excavations on the property have unearthed wine amphorae dating from the 4th century CE! In fact, the very name Piazzano is derived from the Latin “Fundus Plautianus,” or “Plautus’ Farm,” a proud acknowledgement of the land’s heritage as a Roman Centurion’s estate. A closer look at the estate’s unique placement reveals that the property runs across a geological fault line, the resulting tectonic mashup yielded an astonishing array of distinct soil types throughout the vineyards. Today, brother and sister Rolando and Ilaria Bettarini take shrewd advantage of this diversity in terroir, vinifiying each plot separately, blending only the best expressions and selling off the remainder. For decades this passionate, family-run operation has produced quality wines of typicity at a fraction of the price of its better-known neighbors within the bounds of Chianti Classico a few miles to the east.