Panizzi is a certified organic winery in Località Santa Margherita in the San Gimignano region of Tuscany, Italy. It produces white wines under the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG and red wines under the Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG and San Gimignano Rosso DOC denominations.
Background: In 1979 Giovanni Panizzi (from Milan, Lombardy), a computing specialist from Milan, bought the estate (then known as Podere Santa Margherita) when there was just one hectare of vines. He had first come to Tuscany to do his military service in Florence. He had previously run a vineyard in Tezzo sull’Adda in the province of Milan. In the 1980s Giovanni Panizzi began to dedicating himself to wine-growing and augmenting the size of the vineyard. In 1989 Panizzi bottled his first wines. In 1994 he relocated to San Gimignano. From 1995 new vineyards were added and new wines made. In 2005 the estate was handed over to Luano and then Simone Niccolai. Giovanni Panizzi died in 2010.
Staff: Direttore: Walter Sovran (his first harvest here as a winemaker was 2011. Still there in 2020).
Vineyards, wine production: 50ha producing 210,000 bottles (Gambero Rosso: 2015).
Vineyards–San Gimignano: There are 40ha in San Gimignano on 4 sites or terroirs called Larniano, Montagnana, Santa Margherita, and Lazzeretto (see below). The main vineyard of 32 hectares is in Larniano at 300 metres. The vines ripen around 7 days apart. Some vines are on lyre (it seems). Worked with Rauscedo on (I think) clonal selection. There are 16 specific sites of which Santa Margherita is the flagship. Soils are characterized by sands (tuff) and yellow clay.
–Larniano: This is located about 6 km north-west of San Gimignano itself. Larniano is the estate’s biggest vineyard at about 31,50 ha. It is divided in four main areas: Caggio, Torri di Larniano, La Ventola and Poggio di Sant’Andrea.
–Santa Margherita is Panizzi’s key vineyard where the winery was born. 7.20 ha of vines. It is located just over 1,500 metres west of San Gimignano town. The altitude, on the highest point of Santa Margherita hill, identified by a large maritime pine facing the city, is 310 metres above sea level. From here the vineyards gently roll down towards the 4 cardinal points. Santa Margherita is split in two parts. The first of just under 4 hectares (the historical ones, from which everything started) is located on the south, south-west and south-east slopes. Altitude ranges between 310 and 290 metres above sea level.
–Vigna dei 3 Squadri: Planted between 1986 and 1989. 2,800 vines per hectare. A total area of 3.70ha of Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Spurred cordon training system. The soils has a good mix of tuff and yellow clays. West / north-west exposure.
–Vigna dei Cinghiali: ‘Wild boar vineyard’. Planted in 1979. 0.60 ha of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, spurred cordon. 2,800 vines per hectare. Tufaceous matrix soil, but with a good presence of yellow clays. East / north-east exposure.
–Vigna del Capanneto: Planted in 2005. 0.70 ha. 5,000 vines per hectare. 100% Merlot. Spurred cordon. Clayey-sandy soil. North-west exposure.
–Vigna del Colonnello: Planted between 2007 and 2008. 5,000 vines per hectare on an area of 1.80 ha all from Vernaccia di San Gimignano trained with spurred cordon. Predominantly tuffaceous soil on one part and clayey-sandy soil on the remaining part. South-east exposure.
–Vigna del Colorino: Planted 2001. 1.45 ha of various red grape varieties (Sangiovese, Colorino, Alicante). 5,000 vines per hectare. Land mainly characterized by yellow clays and good water availability. East exposure.
–Vigna del Lago: The lake vineyard.
–Vigna del Pianetto: Also known as ‘of the dogs’. Planted 2005, it occupies an area of 0.85 hectares with 5,000 vines per hectare, all of Vernaccia di San Gimignano trained with spurred cordon. Soil with a prevalence of clay, little skeleton and tuff. West exposure.
–Vigna della Ventola: Planted 2006 (2ha) and in 2017 (2ha). Total area of 4.00 ha. Pinot Noir at 5,000 vines per hectare, guyot pruned. Soil with yellow clays, but with a tufaceous matrix and a fair presence of skeleton. East exposure.
–Vigna dell’Altana: 1.00 ha. Planted 2019. 5,000 vines per hectare. Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Guyot trained. Very stony ground with presence of clays. East facing.
–Vigna Ritta: Planted in 2005. 0.50 hectares. 5,000 vines per hectare. 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano trained with spurred cordon. Clayey-tuffaceous soil. Northeast exposure.
–Vigna Sant’Andrea: Planted 2005, it occupies an area of 1.60 ha. 5,000 vines per hectare all of Manzoni Bianco trained with spurred cordon. Clayey-tuffaceous soil. West exposure.
–Vigna Sotto Bosco: Planted 2001. 2.60 hectares. 5,000 vines per hectare. Sangiovese (spurred cordon), with an area of 2.60 hectares. Soil characterized by tuff, yellow clays and skeleton (stones). North / north-east exposure.
–Vigna Villa delle Rose: Planted 2008. 5,000 vines per hectare on an area of 2.00 ha in Vernaccia di San Gimignano trained with spurred cordon. Clearly tuffaceous soil with the presence of yellow clays. Northeast exposure.
–Vigne Curva e Pozzini: There are three plots, one of which is made with rows that curve following the morphology of the land. They were planted between 2004 and 2005 with 5,000 vines per hectare, for a total area of 1.80 ha of Merlot trained with spurred cordon. Soil characterized by a good presence of skeleton, sandstone on one side, clay (prevalent on most of the surface) and tuff. Northeast exposure.
–Vigne dei Nesti: This comprises two bodies, straddling a hill, originally planted with Merlot in 2001, but overgrafted with Sangiovese in 2011. Overall planting of 1.75 ha. 5,000 plants per hectare. Land characterized by tuff and yellow clays. Rows are arranged on the north-west / south-east axis.
–Vigne delle piagge di Caggio: These are two contiguous vineyards created between 2001 and 2006 planted at 5,000 vines per hectare and 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano trained. Spurred cordon. Total area 2.30 ha. Tuff on one side and tuff and yellow clays on the other. West / north-west exposure.
–Villa della Piaggia: This comprises two plots planted in 2006. 4.50 ha of Sangiovese. 5,000 vines per hectare. Spurred cordon. Soil characterized by the classic clay-sandy matrix, but with a notable presence of stones and sandstone in some parts. South / south-east facing.
–Larniano: The main vineyard of 31.5 hectares is in Larniano 6km north west of the town of San Gimignano. Its is the main Vernaccia vineyard. It can be sub-divded into four zones called Caggio, Torri di Larniano, La Ventola, and Poggio di Sant’Andrea.
–Santa Margherita: This is where the cellar is and where estate was born. The 7.2 hectares of vines in Santa Margherita lie at 240 metres 1.5kms west of San Gimignano town centre. 310 metres. They face north, east, south and west. The site can be divided in two. The first comprises little more than 4ha, the .
Vineyards–Seggiano: A single site called Pian dei Cerri in Seggiano on the slopes of Mount Amiata. 8ha in total. Of this 6.5ha of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and 1.5ha of Semillon, Sauvignon and Traminer for passito.
Viticulture: Cover crops. The residual biomass of the crop is composted. Correctly matured animal manure is also used.
Organic certification: From the 2020 harvest the estate vineyards and olive groves are 100% certified organic.
Dry white wines
Toscana Bianco, Evoè: ‘Euoè / Evoè’ is the greeting exclamation of the Bacchantes in honor of Dionysus, god of wine.
Toscana Bianco, Bianco di Gianni: 1996 Debut. 70% Vernaccia, 30% Chardonnay, the latter aged in new wood. | 2000 70% Vernaccia (unoaked), 30% Chardonnay (aged in new oak).
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Panizzi: 1989 Debut. 93-95% Vernaccia di San Gimignano, 5-7% other white grapes. | 1991 Chemical nose and odd palate, lactic and varnishy but not in a pleasant way (Vernaccia Vintage tasting, 14 Feb 2005). | 1994 Bit lactic on the nose; rich fruit with and depth (Vernaccia Vintage tasting, 14 Feb 2005). | 1996 Mid-gold, some varnish and lactone but astringent and dry, especially at finish so some VA (Vernaccia Vintage tasting 14 Feb 2005). | 2004 Clean, elegant and herby (winery visit 14 Feb 2005). | 2011 L1206 OK, dense, modern, has weight, maybe needs time to open a bit in Viale Piave 32 on 7 Nov 2012 with Julie and Louise Harrison. | 2012 Decent Gavi-like lime-citrus (Anteprima 2013). | 2018 13.5% alc. 2.7g/l residual sugar. Well made, soft mid-weight round fruit (2019 Anteprima. | 2019 13.5% alc. Fluid, lightly creamy and estery (2020 Anteprima). | 2020 Certified organic. 13.5% alc. L2009.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, Vigna Santa Margherita: One of the few cru or ‘Vigna’ wines in San Gimignano. Their best vineyard. It takes its name from the place where Panizzi was born: all the Vernaccia di San Gimignano vineyards planted over the years by the company originate from biotypes in this vineyard.| 2003 Starts ferment in tank and finishes in barrel then ages there for five months. Full, solid, a hint of wood though and again herby but decent with a warm finish(Visit 14 Feb 2005). | 2011 Citric (Anteprima 2013). | 2014 12,000 bottles. | 2015 12,000 bottles. | 2016 15,000 bottles. | 2017 9,000 bottles. 14% alc. 50% fermented in stainless steel, 50% fermented in 2nd fill barrels. No MLF. Creamy rich yellow fruit (2019 Anteprima). | 2018 13.5% alc. | 2019 13.5% alc.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva, Panizzi: 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano. It comes from a single vineyard at a height of 400 metres located on a tufaceous plateau. Barrel fermented. Maturation and aging on the lees in new French oak barriques for 12 months with battonage operations. 7 months in steel before bottling. | 1990 Mid-gold, smoky bacon, bit too fat (Vernaccia Vintage 2005). | 1996 Very lactic nose, fat style, plenty of spritz but acetaldehyde (Vernaccia Vintage 2005). | 2001 BF and one year on lees with lees stirring. Oaky style, rich and buttery (Visit 14 Feb 2005). | 2015 From the best plots or lots. 13.5% Fermented in new French oak. On fine lees in barrel with lees stirring for 6m. Decent depth and well judged oak (2019 Anteprima). | 2016 13.5%. Fermented in barrel. After 12m to stainless steel on fine lees. Better than the 2015 (which was also good). Licorice notes, smooth, intense (2020 Anteprima).
Toscana Rosato IGT, Ceraso: 50% each Merlot and Sangiovese. From the Larniano vineyards of, south-west of San Gimignano at an altitude of 400 m asl from Sangiovese and Merlot grapes. We use the same winemaking techniques we use for Vernaccia, resulting in a fresh, lively and savory wine from the San Gimignano terroir.
Toscana Rosso, Ceraso: 2004 Sangiovese and a bit of Canaiolo. Light, a clairet more than a red. Clean, modern cheese (Visit, Monday 14 Feb 2005).
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG Panizzi: The Chianti Colli Senesi Panizzi is the vintage wine that, since 2018, has accompanied the Vertunno Chianti Colli Senesi (see below) born in 1989. A “dyad” of Panizzi wines dedicated to the divine couple of the Etruscan pantheon, Voltumno-Veltha, which follows the changing of the seasons and the ripening of the grapes: the Vintage is a young, quick, “feminine” wine, which contrasts with the Riserva, a wine with a more muscular character, concentrated and aged in barrique. Made from 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Vertunno: Named after the god Vertunnus who presided over the change of the seasons. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot aged in barrique. The name: In the Etruscan pantheon, Voltumna and Veltha represent the divine dyad, the god and the goddess. To the Voltumna-Veltha dyad Panizzi dedicates the production of Chianti Colli Senesi in two declinations: the Riserva and the Vintage. This “dyad” of Panizzi wines follows the changing of the seasons and the ripening of the grapes: on the one hand, a young, quick, “feminine” wine, which since 2018 has accompanied one of Panizzi’s historic wines, the Vertunno Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva, born in 1989, a wine with a more muscular character, concentrated and aged in barrique.
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG Riserva, Vertunno: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
San Gimignano Rosso DOC Folgóre: Folgóre is a Tuscan blend DOC San Gimignano that comes from a single vineyard of about 1 hectare, planted in the 1990s and raised at the lira with Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet, driven into concentration by this (very expensive) farming method. Dedicated to Folgóre, the 1300s poet born in San Gimignano, it is a rare wine, with important aging potential. It is named a C15th poet who wrote sonnets about the months of the year and described the grape harvest. | 2001 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, 10% CS, picked together when the late ripening Sangiovese is ripe and the other grapes are over-ripe. 14 months in barrel. Lightish, dry tannins from wood and grapes, blackcurrant dominates and a bit green too (Visit 2005).
San Gimignano Rosso DOC, Pinot Nero: 100% Pinot Noir.
Sweet white wines
Passito di Toscana: Sémillon, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc.
Other activities: Extra Virgin olive oil from 14ha of Leccino, Frantoio and Moraiolo. Agritourism (since 2015).
Sales: Vinissimo Ltd. (UK).
Società Agricola Panizzi srl
Località Santa Margherita, 34
I-53037 San Gimignano (SI), Italy
Tel+39 0577 941 576 | www.panizzi.it