Castello Vicchiomaggio is an organic estate winery in Greve in Chianti in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, Italy. The name derived from ‘maggio’ referring to the month of May, as this was the venue during the Renaissance for major state festivities. The estate can trace its existence to AD 957, records of wine being produced here existing since then. The estate is probably much older. At that time it was called Vicchio de Longobardi. During the Renaissance the name was changed from Vicchio de Longobardi and the property was rebuilt and greatly expanded by the Medici family. The Castello or castle has 9th-century origins and is said to be the biggest castle south of Florence. In 1966 John Matta’s father bought the Vicchio de Longobardi estate, and renamed it Vicchiomaggio.
Owner: John Matta, a Londoner, of Italian parentage. Spent his childhood summer holidays in Italy. Qualified oenologist (studied viti-oenology, degree from the Alba School of Oenology). Had his own London-based wine importers, Belloni (no longer involved with Belloni). Married to Paola.
Staff: Manager: PierPaolo Brandini (succeeded his father here)
Estate Vineyards: There are 140 hectares at Castello Vicchiomaggio divided into seven different vineyard areas. | Petri: Named after the Petri family who owned Vicchiomaggio from 1850-1910. | Prima Vigna: oldest vines here date from 1925, plus many from 1960-68. Wines from this site are allowed ‘cru’ status in the best years. Clay and galestro. | San Jacopo: Roughly 45 ha, planted from 1966-1975, slightly heavier clay than in Prima Vigna. | Boscorotondo: This 10-ha estate in Greve was purchased by John Matta in 1989. Slightly higher elevation than Vicchiomaggio, so cooler. Since sold. | Vallemaggiore: estate just south of the town of Grosseto on the Tuscan coast.
Organic certification: 2000 First vintage with full organic certification.
Toscana Rosso, Ripa de Carli: Small production (400-500 bottles).
Toscana Rosso, Ripa delle Mandorle: 2016 50% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot.
Toscana Rosso, Ripa delle More: 2001 60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot. €26 retail in 2005. | 2010 60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot. £15-29.99. Warm oak and blackcurrant, lots of ripeness and extract, impressive depth of and well married fruit/wood tannin (Bronze, DWWA 2013).
Chianti Classico DOCG, Agostino Petri: 2001 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Soft, nice weight, easy to drink (visit, 2005). | 2015 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Guado Alto: 2017 100% Sangiovese.
Chianti Classico DOCG, San Jacopo: This was 90% Sangiovese plus Canaiolo and Colorino. | 2017 100% Sangiovese.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Agostino Petri: 2016 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Prima Vigna or La Prima: 2001 100% Sangiovese. €20. Soft with some animal (visit, 2005).
Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione, La Prima: 2013 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot. | 2015 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot.
Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione, Le Bolle: 2016 100% Sangiovese.
Loc. Le Bolle
Via Vicchiomaggio, 4
I-50022 Greve in Chianti (FI = Firenze), Italy
Tel+39 055.854079 | www.vicchiomaggio.it
Susan Low, ‘Tuscan stronghold’, Decanter August 1993, pp46-49.