Castello di Bolgheri
The Castle of Bolgheri lies at the end of the famous Viale di San Guido, a road that is a national monument. Dead straight and almost five kilometres long, the Viale is adorned on both sides with two thousand cipress trees. A stunning sight.
Today, the vineyards in Bolgheri comprises of 1220 hectares. Of those 1050 hectares are used for the production of DOC Bolgheri-wines. This adds up to a moderate production by a small, but fine group of quality producers.
Bolgheri Castle dates from the beginning of the 13th century. The age of Dante, so to speak. The present inhabitant of the Castle is Count Clemente Zileri Dal Verme. It is his son Federico, a 30th generation-descendant of those 13th-century founders, who is in charge of the winery.
In 1984, the Castle plus 130 hectares of land were inherited by Federico’s mother Contessa Franca Spalletti Trivelli. Her own mother, Alessandra della Gherardesca, was a cousin of the wives of Mario ‘Sassicaia’ Incisa della Rocchetta and Niccolò Antinori respectively.
In 1997, the first Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese vines were planted. January 2004 saw the first release of the estate’s Bolgheri Superiore DOC, vintage 2001. The vineyards are all in the proximity of the Castle and border on those of Ornellaia, and Sassicaia. All the 50 hectares of vineyards are in the northern Bolgheri DOC area, well known for its favorable terroir, not least because of its natural drainage.
Federico Zileri’s grandmother officially registered the name Castello di Bolgheri in the 60’s. It is one of the rare cases where the DOC name (Bolgheri) is allowed to be part of the brandname on the label.
In April 2013 Federico was elected President of the Consorzio DOC Bolgheri, taking over from Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta (Sassicaia). The heir of Castello di Bolgheri knows full well that there is still a long way to go to make Bolgheri as famous in the world as it is in Italy. Supported by the fact that all actual 40 members declare that they want to maintain, or even further improve the current level of quality, Federico stresses the importance of clear communication. Not only between the producers, but also towards the outside world.