Casina di Cornia | Organic estate winery with 12th-century origins in Castellina in Chianti in the south western part of the Chianti Classico DOCG in Tuscany. In 1979 Antoine Luginbühl moved to Italy, acquiring the estate the following year. He practised organics from the start (see organic certification, below).
Owner | Antoine Luginbühl (Swiss German; Swiss born) and Francine Dufour Jones. From 2016 their sons Anselmo and Julien began running the estate.
Vineyards | 24 hectares (59.3 acres) of land of which 7.8 hectares (19.3 acres) are vines: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trebbiano, Malvasia, Moscato. Terroir Mostly deep chalky clay soils, SW-facing, 250 metres (820 feet). The remaining small part is on slate, west-facing. See Antoine Luginbühl’s comments on the terroir of Castellina in Chianti (link to Castellina is above).
Organics | From 1996 copper-based sprays used to fight mildew were abandoned in favour of product made with clay (gamatolite), yeast, citric acid and herbs called Rocksil. This was imported from Brazil but when the importer stopped importing Antoine Luginbühl switched to Myco-Sin which was ‘a valid substitute’.
Organic certification | 1980 Casina di Cornia joined Nature et Progrès. | 2017 Still certified organic.
Winery | 2018 This was in the process of being enlarged by Anselmo and Julien.
Toscana Bianco, Il Mariolo | Made from Viognier in very small quantities (400-600 bottles).
Toscana Rosso, Casina di Cornia | 2004 From 80% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 10% Trebbiano. €7.00 retail in 2005. | 2015 Ciliegiolo, Canaiolo Nero, and a bit of Sangiovese. Nice fruit (still on yeast) at Millésime Bio 2016.
Toscana Rosso, L’Amaranto | 1999 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Sangiovese. Well made, sweet tannins, not overoaked at Millésime Bio, Narbonne, 13-15th January 2003. | 2001 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Sangiovese. Well executed, but lacks the textural element the estate’s Sangiovese wines exude (tasted at Millésime Bio 2006). €25.00 retail in 2005.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Casina di Cornia | 2000 100% Sangiovese (may contain a bit of Canaiolo too, around 3%). Ripe, good style and developing well when tasted at Millésime Bio, Narbonne, 2003. | 2004 Clean, clear, crisp, mid-weight and very attractive fruit with a wild yeast edge, very good example of Sangiovese at Millésime Bio 2006. | 2012 Nice creamy fruit at Millésime Bio 2016.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Vigna La Casa | 1998 100% Sangiovese from the Vigna La Casina vineyard. Barrel aged in wood of various types and sizes. Concentrated but perhaps somewhat loose when tasted at Millésime Bio, Narbonne, 13-15th January 2003. | 1998 Nice colour, good garnet rim. Had frost in spring, so only made 30% of a normal harvest, dry too, said high acid. Nice evolution, claret-like, some VA too but healthy as lots of Sangiovese character and fairly Médoc-like, good at Millésime Bio January 2006. | 1999 €20.00 at the estate in 2004. Sweeter tannins than in 1998, more tonneaux than barrels in 1999 compared to 1998, so this I think has helped keep the fruit fresher at Millésime Bio January 2006.
Olive oil | Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
Pottery | Pottery made by Francine Dufour Jones. Francine makes the glazes (not all colours or textures, but most) with ashes, silica, feldspar, and kaolin which is is a “traditional” recipe. The glazings are made using the vine and olive tree prunings. The different ashes give different colourings and glazes, which can be “pushed” in various directions using metal oxides such as iron, copper, cobalt etc. These colours have to be fired to around 1300°C and she has to use stoneware and import the clay. Francine chooses to work with “stoneware” because she likes doing the colours which are more unpredictable, and as it is fired at 1300 °C it becomes like glass with no potential health issues. Using local clay would mean firing at a maximum of 980-1000°C and at this lower temperature (lower melting point) lead must be used, and this can be poisonous if the ratios are not exact.
Accommodation | An old haybarn was converted into two apartments. Both are completely self-contained, with their own kitchen, dining room with open fireplace, bathroom and bedroom. Available all year round. Great view.
Contact & directions
Casina di Cornia
Località Cornia, 113
I-53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel (0)577.743052 | www.casinadicornia.com
Directions: On the road between Lilliano and Quercegrossa, nearer Lilliano, and on the north (left hand) side when heading towards Quercegrossa.