The Frescobaldi family can trace their roots back to the turn of the 11th Century and have had a profound effect on both wine making in Italy and culture in Europe for nearly a Millenia! The Frescobaldis devoted themselves to finance, to art, and to culture. Dino Frescobaldi, a poet of the Dolce Stil Novo school and a friend of Dante, returned to his fellow poet some sections of his Divine Comedy after Dante was condemned to exile from Florence.
In the pages of his 17th-century manuscript, “Bacchus in Tuscany,” Francesco Redi limns the virtues of the wines of Pomino. Following the risqué episode of the Ballo Angelico, Bartolomeo Frescobaldi was excommunicated by Pope Clement XI: during a ball at the Villa di Montecastello the guests had danced nude. To obtain forgiveness, Bartolomeo had to go to Rome on foot. He finally won exoneration by promising that he would build 40 churches in the Val di Pesa area.
The wines produced in Pomino, already mentioned by Francesco Redi in the 17th century, continued their role as industry leaders in Italy into the next century. Their claim to quality was confirmed by the Gand Duke of Tuscany, when he issued a proclamation recognising Pomino as one of the four areas in Tuscany most respected for their quality wine production. The year was 1716, 140 years before the birth of the Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé classification system. Marchese Vittorio degli Albizzi, an ancestor of the Frescobaldi, was born in Burgundy in the early 19th century. When he inherited the properties in Tuscany from the Florentine branch of the family, he returned to Florence. He was amazed to find, at Pomino, an environment unique for Tuscany: a mountainous area, of conifers and chestnut trees, of vineyards and olive groves, and enjoying a well-ventilated cool climate with significant temperature differences between day and night.
Fresh from his experience in Burgundy, he was among the first in Italy to propose specialised vineyard cultivation and monovarietal plantings, even at altitudes until then not used for vinegrowing. But the conditions were perfect for early-ripening grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, which he introduced to Pomino in 1855.
Well knowing how keen we are on Burgundy at the Angel, then it’s no wonder we are great big fans of Frescobaldi!
A member of the Frescobaldi family will be joining us on Thursday 11th November for a Tasting Dinner for further info click here