Canonica a Cerreto is an estate winery in Località Canonica a Cerreto which is within Vagliagli, a ‘frazione’ in Castelnuovo Berardenga commune in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico DOCG region. The estate dates from around 1,000 AD and was the residence of the Bishop of Siena. The name Canonica a Cerreto translates as ‘church in the forest’, ‘canonica’ being a small church and ‘cerreto’ derives from a ‘bosco di cerri’, meaning a wood of evergreen oak trees, turkey oak in this case.
Owner: Lorenzi family (Marco Lorenzi; met him at Benedetto Vino tasting in early 2005).
History: Around the year 1000 A.D., the canons of Siena’s cathedral decided to construct a new abbey not too far from the city. The abbey was to be located on a panoramic hillside in the middle of a forest filled with turkey oak trees and it was here that Canonica a Cerreto was built. Set on a hill shaded by turkey oak trees, Canonica a Cerreto was built as a monastery for Siena’s clergy about a thousand years ago. Located on the old border between the former republics of Siena and Florence, the monastery witnessed years of fierce fighting between the two rivals including the historic Battle of Montesperti, described by Italy’s most famous poet, Dante Alighieri.
In 1400 A.D., Canonica a Cerreto was bought by a noble family from Cerretani, who renovated the villa according to the popular Renaissance style of the time. In 1700 A.D., it returned to Siena’s clergy, who converted it into a summer villa for the bishop. The interior of the villa’s chapel was refashioned to a style more appropriate for the age, and its rooms frescoed by Sienese painters.
In around 2000, more than 300 years later, Canonica a Cerreto returned to private hands.
Vineyards: The vineyards are 7.5 miles (12km) east of Siena. There are approximately 20 hectares of vines on gentle slopes surrounding the Arbia river. Altitude is 300-350 metres. Clay-limestone soils. 17ha of Sangiovese, 1.5 ha of Merlot and 1.5ha of Cabernet. Vine densities of between 3,500 to 5,050 plants per hectare. Cordon-training, spur-pruned.
Winemaking: Picking by hand and stored in crates which have a maximum capacity of 20 kg. Large Slavonian oak vats.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Canonica a Cerreto: 2014 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot. | 2018 100% Sangiovese.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Canonica a Cerreto: 2013 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot. | 2014 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot. | 2015 95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot. Oaky and over-ripe, big but hollow, lacks a centre (2019 Anteprima). Matteo Bernabei consulted.
Sandiavolo, IGT Toscana Rosso: 2013 34% Sangiovese, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot.
Other crops, activities
Extra Virgin olive oil from three varieties: correggiolo, frantoio and moraiolo.
Agritourism: Rooms once used by monks have been converted into charming modern apartments. Three apartments are available to guests, each with its own bathroom, kitchen and fireplace. Although the décor is distinct in each apartment, it remains faithful to the traditional Tuscan style. The windows offer a breathtaking view of the countryside, shared by a swimming pool open to all guests.
Canonica a Cerreto
Loc. Canonica a Cerreto
Fraz Vagliagli, I-53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577 363261 | www.canonicacerreto.it