Fattoria Nittardi is a wine producer in the heart of the Chianti Classico district in Tuscany. Each year they commission a famous artist to design the label for their Chianti Classico wine, Casanuova di Nittardi. This year’s label, the thirteenth, is made by the Nobel Prize winner in literature Dario Fo. BKWine’s reporter Åsa Johansson tells the story.
At first the Fattoria Nittardi winery in Castellina in Chianti looks like most traditional Tuscan estates. A beautiful stone house with a medieval tower in the middle, surrounded by cypresses, vineyards and olive groves. But the closer you get the more you realise that this is a place where old is mixed with new.
We fell in love with Nittardi as soon as we arrived here
Sculptures and works of art are placed here and there in the garden. On the walls there is art by contemporary painters. The terrace, with a breath-taking view, has been converted into a life-size chess board. There are many details and wherever you turn there is something new to discover and to admire.
– We fell in love with Nittardi as soon as we arrived here although all the buildings were in ruins, explains Peter Femfert.
Peter Femfert, from Germany, and Stefania Canali from Venice bought the estate in 1981. In addition to the vineyard they also own a well-known art gallery in Frankfurt. At Nittardi the family has combined their two great interests: art and wine.
The label this year depicts the moment after the harvest, when you can calm down after a hard day’s work, sit down and relax, tell stories and laugh
The wine traditions at Nittardi stretches far back in time. The vineyards have had many owners. One of the more famous ones was Michelangelo Buonarroti (perhaps better known as simply “Michelangelo”) who often brought the Nittardi wines with him as a gift when he went to visit the Pope in Rome.
Since they took over the estate Peter and Stefania has had each year’s label of the Chianti Classico Casanuova di Nittardi designed by a famous artist. Günter Grass, Yoko Ono, Igor Mitoraj, and Mimmo Paladino are some of the thirty artists that have contributed to this project.
This year’s label has been designed by Dario Fo, Nobel Prize winner in literature 1997.
– We are very happy that Dario Fo agreed to do the label, says Peter Femfert. It has happened that some artists have declined, since they don’t drink wine. But this year all went well, Peter says with a laugh.
The Dario Fo label depicts the moment after the harvest, when you can calm down after a hard day’s work, sit down and tell stories, laugh and relax. Dario Fo has put the focus on the grape and on man, the two elements that are the foundation for any wine.
The Chianti Classico Casanuova di Nittardi 2010 DOCG, with Dario Fo’s label, is a traditional Chianti Classico. It is made almost exclusively from sangiovese grapes, with only a few percent of canaiolo added, a local grape. It is intensely ruby red, with a bouquet of cherries and with a long after taste. The crisp tannins from the sangiovese have been rounded off a bit through nine months aging in French oak barrels. (Around 15 euro.)
More info: www.nittardi.com
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