Cappella Sant’Andrea is an organic estate winery in the San Gimignano region of Tuscany in Italy, north-east of the town itself, in località Casale. White wine is made under the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG. Red wine is made under the Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG.
Owner: The Leoncini family.
Consultant: Paolo Salvi.
Background: Cappella Sant’Andrea was bought in the 1950s by Giovanni Leoncini, a surveyor, and Renato Leoncini. It was a former sharecropping farm. After Giovanni Leoncini retired in the 1980s he decided with his daughter Antonella to build a winery and buy more land to plant new vineyards. With advice from oenologist Paolo Salvi in collaboration with Giulio Gambelli new wines were launched: San Gimignano Rosso DOC Serreto and Vernaccia Selezione Rialto. Antonella Leoncini now runs the farm with her daughter Flavia Del Seta (third or fourth generation) and Flavia’s husband Francesco.
Vineyards: There are 30ha (74 acres) of land of which 8ha (20 acres) are vineyards, all in San Gimignano but in two areas.
Vineyards–white wines: Just over half (4.6ha/11.4 acres) is for Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The 4.6ha of white wine vineyards are near the winery at the aforementioned Loc. Casale, which is 0.62 miles/1km from San Gimignano itself. The terroir here is hilly, on fossil-rich sandy clay soils of marine (Pliocene) origin.
Vineyards–red wines: The Leoncini family also have 1.5ha (3.7 acres) of Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Colorino and a little Merlot around their historic residence or palazzo, Villa Palagio, at Loc. Sant’Andrea. This is 4km/2.5miles from San Gimignano, on clayey terrain terrain which is more open and valleyed than that at Loc. Casale. The wine from here, a Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, is called Arciduca.
Organic certification: 2013 First vintage with full organic certification.
Winery: Some vitrified cement tanks and terracotta jars, in which fermentations start spontaneously.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Cappellasantandrea: 2012 Skin contact. Cold settled. Nice weight and depth (Anteprima, 2013). Around 22,000 bottles. | 2016 3 months on lees. Vibrant, very good (Anteprima 2014).
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Toi: Sold in half bottles only. See also the Moi red, below.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Clara Stella: Entry level. 2017 Crisp, salty and vibrant (Anteprima 2018). |2018 Lovely bright, salty fruit (2019 Anteprima). | 2019 Crisp, clear, and rich. 13% alc. (Anteprima, 2020). Again showing a sense of richness underlying the soft , understated yellow fruit, very likeable and versatile on its own or at table L0320 (March 2021)
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Rialto: From the oldest Vernaccia vines (mid-1960s) or best bunches. Around 3,000 bottles. | 2010 Nice if a bit bitter (Anteprima 2013). | 2012 70% Barrel fermented. 5m on lees. MLF. Nice natural style with low sulfurs (Anteprima 2013). | 2016 Quite Burgundian and with nice lift (2019 Anteprima). | 2017 20 hours in the press. No oak. Lovely tang and intensity (2019 Anteprima). | 2018 13.5% alc. Crisp and rich (Anteprima, 2020). L0319. Strong texture to the fruit, bright yellow fruit flavours, umami tang, generous and still young (7 March 2021).
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva, Prima Luce: ‘First light.’ From old vines. East-facing. Fermented in terra cotta on the skins for 2 weeks. Low sulfites. Ages on fine lees for 12m. Part oak aged. | 2015 Lovely intensity and freshness (2019 Anteprima). | 2016 Lovely mix of tannin and juicy savoury fruit (2019 Anteprima). | 2017 14% alc. Creamy and well textured with bright white and yellow fruit with noticeable salinity, freshness and clarity (Anteprima, 2020).
Toscana Rosato, Rosaeto (sic): Sangiovese. Short skin maceration.
Toscana Rosso, Tina: The entry level red, light and easy. 70% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot. Fermented in small cement vats. Around 7,000 bottles. Sangiovese, Merlot and Ciliegiolo.
Toscana Rosso, Donna Flavia: 85% Ciliegiolo (historically used in Tuscany to soften the Sangiovese, 15% Sangiovese, Colorino, Merlot. | 2011 1,000 bottles. No oak. Bottled Sept 2013.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Arciduca: Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo grown around Villa Palagio. The owners call it a ‘a real toscanaccio’, strongly traditional with good acidity.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Moi: Sold in half bottles only. See also the Toi white, above.
Toscana Rosso, Serreto: The flagship red. From the best Sangiovese and Merlot. Fermented apart in small cement vats. 3 weeks on skins. Aged in new French oak barriques. Around 3,000 bottles.
Other crops: The estate also produces olive oil and grappa di Vernaccia, and can host group lunches/cooking lessons.
Cappella di Sant’Andrea
Loc. Casale, 26 – I-53037 San Gimignano (SI), Italy
Tel+39 0577.940456 | www.cappellasantandrea.it