Castiglion del Bosco: Quintessential Tuscany
Precisely the same is true of Castiglion del Bosco.
Enter this estate within the nature preserve that is Val d’Orcia and one seems to have gained entrance to a magical world where nature speaks eloquently and where man’s hand, represented here by a centuries-old castle and restored villas, has respected the spaces and balance of encircling nature.
Which is precisely what the highly-suggestive name leads one to expect: the Bosco, or woods, that enfolds the castle, the Castiglion, is the realm of deer, boar, and foxes. And of course, Sangiovese.
In 1983, after his beginnings as a wine producer at the Tenuta di Prima Pietra in Riparbella, in the upper Maremma, Massimo Ferragamo created here his quintessential Tuscany, composed of vineyards, of guests to be welcomed as friends, of windows that seem artistic pictures, and of nights bursting with stars.
Today, Castiglion del Bosco is all of this, yet goes far beyond.
Castiglion del Bosco has two separate vineyard sites, the 42 acre Gauggiole vineyard, just beneath the borgo, and Capanna, with 104 acres.
Capanna is the vineyard of the estate, a single parcel that winds along the ridge of the hill like an enormous, supply-flowing river of green. Just gazing on it is an emotional experience, so it makes total sense that when his eyes fell on this jewel, Massimo Ferragamo was even more determined to purchase the property.
“I was utterly captured by this superb piece of land, by its stupendous, isolated site, and its spellbinding woods. I immediately had the idea of transforming it into an oasis of quality time,” Ferragamo said.
Capanna faces southwest, at elevations that begin at 1150 feet and reach 1509 feet. The vineyard, registered exclusively to Brunello production, is sub-divided into separate parcels, beginning with the top of the hill, which is called Campo del Drago, and extending down to the foot of the slope.
The soils in the uppermost areas are marked by an abundance of rock, “a compact, gravelly mass,” explains winemaker and agronomist Cecilia Leoneschi, “that, combined with scarce groundwater reserves, forces the vine to push its roots down deep.”
Here the vine-rows are most exposed to the wind, which is the predominant characteristic of this vineyard, and most subject to wide day-night temperature swings. As one descends the slope, the character of the rock changes, with the central swath composed largely of galestro, while rock-studded clay schists predominate still farther down.
The estate’s second vineyard is Gauggiole. The soils here present a mixture of clay and rock, while the weather is characterized by a balanced alternation of heat and cold, ideal conditions for the development of the fruitiness classic to Sangiovese.
While winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco has been a craft for centuries, until fairly recently the vineyards were cultivated solely for personal consumption by each family living on the Estate. Today, Castiglion del Bosco wines are consistently recognized for their excellence.
To further expand upon Ferragamo’s dream, Castiglion del Bosco has now become a resort as well, and offers a handful of remarkable accommodations and buildings in an environment of Tuscan culture and natural beauty.
Ferragamo re-structured the medieval borgo as well as 9 of the 20 farmhouses on the estate; the transformation embodies a refinement and attention to detail that can only be explained by a genetic family sense of style. As the chairman of Ferragamo, USA Castiglion del Bosco rooms offer escape with elegance and son of footwear legend, Salvatore Ferragamo, luxury and its essence course through the veins of Massimo.
The overall atmosphere is a synergy of materials, all diverse but in perfect synchrony with each other and with their natural surroundings, encompassing colors that were not left to chance, delicate etchings, panoramic views that reveal themselves unexpectedly, dramatic and breath-taking.
Describing the wealth of refined detail that makes this complex utterly unique would go on forever. In fact, the Borgo di Castiglion del Bosco is best appreciated in an endless process of small discoveries.
But the hallmark characteristic of all of the 23 suites, as well as of the villas distributed over the estate, is obvious: elegance. An aristocratic refinement exuded by the refined richness of the textiles, by the antiques, and by all of the furniture and furnishings selected by Chiara Ferragamo and interior designer Teresa Burgisser.
Although tranquility and privacy are scrupulously-observed, the Borgo offers a wide array of activities, including sports, culture, health and beauty service, and gourmet opportunities.
Under the Tuscan sky guests can enjoy the swimming pool with its fabulous views, built from the same limestone as the house and road paving-blocks, or the meticulously-tended natural areas for a stroll, bocce or tennis, areas equipped for creativity and classes, the glass-cube gym that “lets nature through,” or, last but not least, the spa of one’s dreams, offering the finest beauty and health treatments, custom-designed by Daniela Steiner.
And for those who simply cannot stand doing nothing, there is the kitchen garden, with its more than 180 varieties of plants. It serves as the chef’s pantry, but it is also the prime resource for the cooking classes, open both to adult as well as children.
It is just a brief path from the garden to the table.
In fact, there are two. The first path leads to the Ristorante Campo del Drago, with its warm, refined atmosphere, and the second to the Osteria La Canonica, where guests can enjoy the classic dishes of Tuscan cuisine as well as study aspects of Italian cookery “up close and personal” with the chef.
“The menu offerings of the two restaurants,” explains Elio Sironi, renowned chef, “are quite different. Even though the philosophy is one and the same, namely respect for local traditions and for the local growing area. The Osteria focuses on uncomplicated, full-flavored Tuscan specialties, while Campo del Drago gives me the opportunity of playing with the local fresh ingredients and intriguing the palates of our guests. In both cases, I search out the best possible ingredients for my dishes, and there is certainly no lack of delectable items in the Montalcino and the Val d’Orcia areas.”
Since 2011, Castiglion del Bosco has also boasted an extraordinary private Golf Club of 18 holes spread out over 519 acres of gently-rolling hills, all designed by one of the most renowned figures in the golf world, British Open champion Tom Weiskopf.
The mission was to respect the landscape, which hardly required any enhancing or embellishing. The results fully met the expectations of both golf experts and amateurs alike.
In addition to the canonical 18 holes, Weiskopf added a final challenge, in the form of the “Brunello Hole,” just a few steps from the Club House, where club members often enjoy competing for the symbolic glass of Brunello.
The club is restricted to just a few members, and even hotel guests have only a handful of opportunities per year to play.
Design is at the heart of the Ferragamo dynasty. There are places that are designed for the eye to enjoy from afar, others that beg to be absorbed in their details. Castiglion del Bosco reflects both visions. From journeys taken through the vineyards to luxurious slumber in one of the villas, the experience of Castiglion del Bosco will be long savored after the wine has been shared.
53024 Montalcino Telephone: +39 0577 1913001 Fax: +39 0577 808621 Website: www.castigliondelbosco.com
Telephone: +39 0577 1913001
Fax: +39 0577 808621