Fattoria Nittardi is an organic estate in Castellina in Chianti in the south western part of the Chianti Classico DOCG in Tuscany. It was once owned by Michelangelo. The current owners also have estate vineyards in the Maremma Toscana DOC (see below).
Owner: Peter Femfert (German) and his Italian wife Stefania Canali bought the estate in 1981. Femfert worked in the art world in Frankfurt. They gradually renewed the vineyards and in 1992 re-built the winery. In 1999 they acquired more vineyards, this time in Tuscany’s coastal Maremma. From 2013 Peter and Stefania’s first child, Léon Femfert took over.
History: The Nittardi Estate, on the boundary between the provinces of Siena and Florence, was originally a defensive tower known as early as 1183 by the name of “Nectar Dei” (The Nectar of the GodS). In the 16th century, the vast property belonged to the Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti who, in 1549, while painting the Sistine Chapel, wrote to his nephew Lionardo: “I’d prefer two casks of wine rather than eight shirts.” On that same occasion, Michelangelo also sent Nittardi wine to Rome as a “genuine gift to the Pope Julius II”. Today, in honour of that tradition, every year the first bottles of Nectar Dei, the top wine from the Maremma vineyards, are presented to the Pope. Over the centuries the property changed hands often until, in 1982, it was taken over by the Frankfurt publisher and art gallerist Peter Femfert and his wife Stefania Canali, a historian from Venice. Stefania and Peter restored Nittardi step-by-step. The vineyards were replanted and, in 1992, the ancient vat room was replaced by a modern cellar. The son of Stefania and Peter, Léon Femfert, has been involved full time at the winery since early 2013.
In 1999 another property was purchased in the Maremma, close to the coast in southern Tuscany. Since then, 17 hectares there have been planted with local and international grape varietals. This is where Ad Astra and Nectar Dei, the Super Tuscans of Nittardi, are produced. In 2012, the Maremma also became the birthplace of Nittardi’s first white wine, BEN, a 100% Vermentino.
Staff: Consultant Carlo Ferrini. General Manager Georgio Conte. Estate Manager Stefano Contini.
Estate vineyards: 2019 12ha in the Chianti Classico DOCG: 450 metres on sandstone, calcareous marl, schist, clay and sand. Single vineyards: Nittardi At 450m. Vigna Doghessa At 450m. A south-facing hill. Stony, schistous. 100% Sangiovese. Villa Rosa 270m, Planted 1968. Mainly Sangiovese, plus Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera. Also 23ha in Magliano in Toscana in the Maremma Toscana DOC.
Certification: 2017 First vintage with full organic certification.
Toscana Bianco, BEN: BEN is short for the Italian forename Beniamino, which is often bestowed upon the youngest and most beloved son. / 2012 Debut. 100% Vermentino.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Belcanto: 2016 90% Sangiovese, 10% other grapes.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Casanuova di Nittardi: 1997 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo. Stainless steel fermented. 12 months in French oak. 13.40% alcohol. Bottled Feb 1999. | 2000 Bottled.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Vigna Doghessa: Single vineyard–see above. As homage to Michelangelo (see above), every year a well-known artist paints the label as well as the wrapping paper used for the Casanuova di Nittardi Vigna Doghessa wine bottles. The collection, started in 1981, includes works by internationally renowned artists such as Hundertwasser, Corneille, A.R. Penck, Mitoraj, Yoko Ono, Günter Grass, Dario Fo and Karl Otto Götz. | 2016 100% Sangiovese. 13.5%. Smooth, dryish red cherry and citrussy acidity (Anteprima 2019).
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Nittardi: 1995 95% Sangiovese, 5% CS. Stainless steel fermented. 24 months in French oak. 13.50% alcohol. Bottled Feb 1998. | 1999 Bottled. | 2015 100% Sangiovese.
Toscana Rosso, Ad Astra: The name is an aphorism, from Nittardi’s motto. The Latin phrase which is Per Aspera Ad Astra or “a rough road leads to the stars”, meaning greatness requires a great deal of loving work and care. The grapes come from the Mongibello delle Mandorlaie estate in Southern Maremma. 50% Sangiovese, 20% each Merlot and Cab Franc, 10% other grapes.
Toscana Rosso, Nectar Dei: ‘Nectar of the Gods.’ It was christened after the ancient name of the Nittardi estate discovered in a document from 1183. As is the tradition of Nittardi, the first bottles of this new wine were presented to Pope Benedict XVI — just as Michelangelo Buonarroti did in the 16th century when he, the owner of the estate at the time, paid tribute to the popes Julius II and Leo X by presenting them with, to use Michelangelo’s own words, “the genuine wine of Nittardi”. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot.
Loc. Nittardi, 76
I-53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.740269 | www.nittardi.com
GPS 43° 30’53.84″ N – 11° 59.99″ E