Castello di Meleto
Castello di Meleto is an old castle in the heart of the Chianti area of Tuscany. In the seventies of the last century Castello di Meleto was bought by a public company and today it is owned for more than 75% by a private family. In and around the castle beautiful accommodations for guests have been created; you can enjoy elegance in Tuscan style in a room or apartment of your choice.
Strategically situated on the top of a hill, overlooking the frontiers of the provinces of Siena and Florence, you need little phantasy to understand its important role in the past.
In the 12th century Benedictine monks from nearby Abazzia di Coltibuono settled down here. Not much later it became one of the many fortifications that, in a climate of insecurity, became a centre of political and military power. For centuries Castello di Meleto was part of a theatre of war, without ever being demolished, however. Famous and noble families made it their home. The Firidolfis, for example, who at their turn had strong family ties with the Ricasolis, families that dominated the Chianti area for a long time. And not only the area. It was Bettino Ricasoli who in 1872 defined the formula of Chianti, the wine.
In 1700, Castello di Meleto was transformed into a ‘castle villa’. Part, but not all, of the defence structures disappeared. Today, the interior and decorations are still very much as they were in that period, including a tiny theatre with a capacity of no more than thirty people.
Castello di Meleto disposes of 160 hectares of vineyards, situated around nearby Pieve di Spaltenna and San Pietro in Avenano, all in the community of Gaiole. Up till the year 2000 some 125 hectares have been replanted, paying special attention to the right clones and low yields per plant. The remaining hectares will be replanted soon. 80% of the vineyards is planted with Sangiovese, 15% with Merlot, while the remaining 5% is taken up by Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante, Syrah and Trebbiano. Only red wines are produced, first and foremost Chianti Classico.
As the combination of climate, soil and altitude favour more profumed wines as well, we can expect some Meleto Vermentino in the near future. Because the wines are becoming like the ‘castle villa’ itself: combining power and elegance.