Agricola San Felice - Boutinot

Meet the Producer

An outstanding Tuscan winery that has pioneered key developments in the Chianti Classico region for the last 40 years.

Based in Castelnuovo Berardenga, around 30 miles south-east of Florence and at the southern end of the Chianti Classico zone, this reputable estate includes 140 hectares of vineyard, a cellar, around 17,000 olive trees, and a village with a prestigious hotel complex. Winemaker Leonardo Bellaccini crafts a portfolio of wines which is highly regarded and multi award-winning - classic expressions of high quality Sangiovese.

This is a pioneering winery - producing the fore-runner to the Supertuscans, Vigorello (the first wine in the Chianti Classico region produced using solely red grapes) in the late 1960s. This was followed by the introduction of Poggio Rosso in the 1970s (the first example of a Chianti Classico 'Cru'), and then by its partnership with the Universities of Florence and Pisa in the 1980s. At a time when other estates were focusing on international varieties, this partnership led to the development of its Vitiarium, or experimental vineyard, where it has cultivated and studied indigenous grape varieties (such as Pugnitello) for over 30 years. San Felice was also amongst the first Chianti Classico estates to produce a 'Gran Selezione' wine - a new classification introduced as the top quality tier for wines in the region - with the inaugural 2010 vintage.

San Felice lies adjacent to its sister property, Villa la Pagliaia - and has an additional estate, Campogiovanni, in Montalcino.

A Note on Sustainability

At Agricola San Felice, efforts are made to protect the Chianti landscape and the beauty of the village by safeguarding the most significant buildings and the old dry-stone walls. Soil erosion is combatted by maintaining the terracing and constantly analysing variations in flora and microfauna. The vineyards are managed according to methods of precision viticulture, which allow ad hoc treatments for each plant so as to minimise environmental impact and maximise product quality. A school of pruning was founded to help to respect the physiology of the vines and to boost their wellbeing and productivity.

Close attention is also paid to the biodiversity of the estate’s vines: in the experimental Vitiarium, hundreds of species have been cultivated and studied for over 30 years, partly to determine what contribution they can make to the estate, and partly to prevent them from fading into oblivion. San Felice is 100% self-sufficient in generating all the electricity it requires using both photovoltaic solar panels, saving 285,000kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year, and a biomass-fuelled thermal power plant. Sustainability also encompasses participatory projects, such as the one launched by Fondazione Umana Mente which involves young people with disabilities or social problems taking their first steps in the world, and elderly people who want to pass on their skills.

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