Maurizio Castelli was born, lived and studied in Milan. His father was Tuscan, and Maurizio moved to live there in 1972. A qualified oenologist, Castelli began his career in wine in 1973 as an inspector for the Chianti Classico Consorzio (growers’ body). In 1980 he became a freelance consultant for various wine companies in Italy, the USA, and Chile (see below). He is also a specialist in olio culture (the growing and production of olive oil). He had two children with his first wife, Simone (see Podere 414) and Gaddo. Castelli also ran a wine tasting and event venue called Vitis Vinifera in Montisi (near Montalcino) in Tuscany which he co-founded with his second wife, Antonella Piredda.

Quotes: ‘Oak is a tool, not a destination’.

Hot season winemaking: Pick ripe but not over-ripe red wine grapes before the main harvest. Add 10–15–20% of this early picked red wine (12% alc.). It adds finesse, aroma, acidity and will lower, if only slightly, the overall alcohol content. ‘This is a not a very widespread technique,’ Mauricio told me in January 2021.


Abruzzo: Colle Funaro. | Orlandi Contucci Ponno.

Friuli: Bastianich. | Scarbolo. | Ronc Sorelli.

Tuscany: Badia a Coltibuono (Chianti Classico). | Boscarelli (Vino Nobile). | Castellare di Castellina (Chianti Classico). | Castelli di Radda (Chianti Classico). | Castello di San Polo (Chianti Classico, no longer exists). | Castello di Volpaia (Chianti Classico, to 2000). | Col d’Orcia (Montalcino, 1988-2008). | Col di Lamo (Montalcino). | Corte dei Venti (Montalcino). | La Mozza (Scansano. | Le Macioche (Montalcino to 2016). | Le Ragnaie (Montalcino). | Mastrojanni (Montalcino). | Piancornello (Montalcino). | Villa Arceno (Chianti Classico).

Chile: Erasmo.

New Zealand: Seresin Estate (Marlborough).


Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016).