Castello di Ama set itself up with a big name – “Castle of Love.”
And fall in love we did.
The medieval Italian village seems divinely placed on a hilltop surrounded by vines, olive and cypress trees, in the heart of Chianti Classico.
With it’s recognizable knight on the label, Castello di Ama holds a very important place in the landscape of Chianti. The modern era of Castello di Ama began about 35 years ago with the replanting of the estate vineyard. This site itself is spectacular – a rounded hilltop set 1600 feet above sea level. It has perfect southern exposure and the clay-calcareous soils that are considered ideal for Sangiovese, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
Our pic from our tasting was unexpected. We are so familiar with Castello di Ama red that, to be honest, I had no idea they made a white. Now I know! We enjoyed their 2016 Castello di Ama Al Poggio Bianco on the patio with bread and olive oil of course.
But while the landscape is impressive, the vinters are ever more lively.
Lorenza is Roman, the second generation of one of the winery’s founding families. Marco is a Tuscan born and bred, who trained both in Tuscany and in France.
Marco was named Winemaker of the Year in the 2003 Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia. Two years later, in 2005, Castello di Ama was named Best Winery of the Year by the Gambero Rosso wine guide. We could certainly taste the care and history that goes into every drop.
But they share other passion besides creating tier wine: contemporary art. Loranza and Marco have been inviting some of the world’s most important artists to the winery to create spectacular, site-specific works.
As you walk through the winery, they explain not only the process of the wine, but the artwork they have amassed over the years. An Anish Kapoor light installation holds center stage in the estate’s tiny chapel; a mirrored wall by Daniel Buren stretches along the vineyards; and a Louise Bourgeois sculpture is hidden in the property’s cellar.
As they are quick to point out, art, like wine, is for the next generation. A legacy for those who come after us to enjoy.
After our stellar tasting, we headed over to Ristorante La Botte di Bacco for lunch. Chef Flavio D’Auria cooked up a leisurely lunch to simmer on the morning of tastings. He was incredibly welcoming by greeting us with Prosecco and a big smile on his face. We had the best salad (pictured below). Shave artichoke heart with arugula and parmesan. The perfect way to round out our experience in Chianti.
Cin Cin from Your Pocket Somms!