VILLA BRANCA is a winery in Mercatale Val di Pesa, a locality (‘frazione’) in the township (‘comune’) of San Casciano in Val di Pesa in the province of Florence and within the Chianti Classico DOCG region of Tuscany.
OWNER | The Branca family (Villa Branca srl).
HISTORY | A document dated 1348 cites the Buondelmonti, a noble family from Florence, as the owners. In the 1950s Pierluigi Branca acquired the hamlet, which comprised a main villa, farmhouses, and about 150ha of land. The current incumbents are Anna and Stefano.
STAFF | Admin: Salvatore Salvadori. Oen Consultant Federico Staderini. Winemaker: Giovanni Corvi (here since 1988. From Florence. Aged 48 in 2005. Studied agronomy in his native Firenze. Masters from Piacenza).
ESTATE VINEYARDS | 2005 Around 55ha of vines. Increasing vine density.
WINERY | The oldest part of the cellar dates from 1500 roughly. The modern part of the cellar is rather ugly.
WINEMAKING | 2005 Part-machine picked. Winemaker Giovanni Corvi could use the rotofermenters here, but prefers not to. Barrel cellars are under the house.
CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG, VILLA BRANCA | 2002 90% Sangiovese, 10% CS and Merlot. Clean, soft, light and easy at the winery in 2005. / 2003 Tank sample. Soft, quite a bit of berry. Use US oak from French coopers and get that soft vanilla at the winery in 2005.
CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG RISERVA | 2001 90% Sangiovese, 10% CS and Merlot. Clean, light soft and fruity with not too much wood at the winery in 2005. / 2002 Chianti Classico Riserva None made. / 2003 Seems to have been acidified at the winery in 2005, soft again, not too much chocolate at least but fairly bland. Defo acidified, but done in a good way I think.
VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI DOC | Kosher. / 1997 60% Trebbiano + 40% Malvasia. 1,500 x half litres. Soft, sweet, nut and a bit oxidised on the finish at the winery in 2005.
WINE SALES | 2005 The main market was the USA.
The estate has its own olive oil press. Agritourism Self-contained houses for agritourism. Cellar tours Better to call ahead for a cellar tour as not really set up for tours and visits but can do it.
Villa Branca, Via Novoli 10, I-50024 Mercatale Val di Pesa (FI = Firenze), Italy / Tel+39 055.821033 / www.villabranca.it / www.tenutabranca.com