Sergio Dionisio (Fabrizio’s father) acquired “Il Castagno” (the name of the estate originates from the name of the place where it is located) in the early 1970s, a modest property of some seven hectares, located in the hills facing the town of Cortona, which possessed a vineyard and a grove of olive trees. He dreamed of sending his roots even deeper into the soil of Tuscany, of preserving that small corner of paradise by establishing a farming operation that would develop the exceptional suitability of that area for growing high-quality grapes.
After the purchase of a second parcel of land some 5 kilometres distant (in 1992), the estate reached its current size, with some 15 hectares of vineyard. It comprises two properties, both sited on Cortona’s gentle hills, in what has always been known as the “Chiuso della Valdichiana”, at elevations that average 300 metres. The vines, on gently rolling slopes, are surrounded by a classically Tuscan landscape of woods, olive trees, grain fields, sunflowers, and tobacco plants on one hand, and on the other medieval hamlets, country villas, churches, and Etruscan remains. Overall, the area resembles a high plateau set between the Val d’Orcia and the steep slopes of the Casentino and of the upper Tiber Valley. Rising up over the area from its perch on the slopes of Monte Sant’Egidio is the ancient and noble city of Cortona, which gazes out over a magical panorama that ranges from Lake Trasimeno to Mount Cetona, from Montepulciano to Mount Amiata.
At “Il Castagno” we find now the ancient mansion house, some of the vineyards, the fermentation cellar and the barrel cellar. It’s here that beats the heart of the winery, that’s why Fabrizio Dionisio named “Il Castagno” his signature wine (Syrah Cortona DOC, 100% Syrah); it was produced for the first time in 200