Montenidoli: 200 ha/500 ac of woods on the hill overlooking San Gimignano, in front of the Chianti Classico, between Florence and Siena. It is an unpolluted land, high upon the hill, in clean air, away, far away, from any chemical poison invented by humans.

When we arrived, in 1965, the land was abandoned: the woods had invaded the fields, the olive trees were running wild, the vines were covered by the bushes. We committed ourselves to the soil, and tried our best for a new beginning. We began to breed rabbits as their manure was very good for fertilizing the soil; we bought worms that we spread in the fields to make humus and soften the earth.  We pruned only in winter when the vegetation was dormant. All the cuttings were ground and fermented to make a compost to go back to fertilize the plants. We followed the rules of nature that are dictated by the weather, the days, the seasons.


During the Quaternary period, the Ligurian sea covered the valleys of this part of Tuscany with shallow, calm waters. An ideal place for the growth of crustaceans and molluscs.

They were the first inhabitants of Montenidoli and left their precious heritage. The white, sandy soil of the lower part of the hill, between 250-400 meters / 270-450 yards above sea level, is made of the remains of the shells; it is calcareous and rich in marine sediments: the mother of our white wines.

In the upper part of the hill, between 400-600 meters / 450-650 yards above sea level, we find the cavernous rock of the Triassic period. The water penetrates for 200 meters / 220 yards into the holes and makes a basin. The land floats on a large salt-water sea. The soil is red and very rich in different minerals: it is ideal for our red wines. The Sangiovese acquires a unique taste; the wine is vinified separately, aged in wood and put in magnums. This is the Triassico that is sold in order to support the Foundation.


Woods cover the entire hill: ancient oak-trees, evergreen ilex, flowering ashes that bloom in spring, with their fruit in summer and beautiful coloured leaves in autumn.

Sono numerosi gli ornielli, chiamati “il Frassino della manna” per le nuvole bianche della fioritura, durante la primavera; i suoi frutti, le sue foglie d’estate sono commestibili; il suo manto si accende di colori smaglianti durante l’autunno. Sono presenti pini marittimi e pini austriaci, per la felicità degli scoiattoli.

There are also pitch pines and umbrella pines for the happiness of squirrels. There is a great variety of bushes, similar to Mediterranean scrub: myrtle, juniper, the strawberry tree, and broom. The ground is rich in microelements and provides mushrooms in autumn and winter, and always many flowers: hellebores, violets and cyclamens, marigolds and daisies – a great variety of essences and perfumes that invade the cultivated plots of olive trees and vineyards.


Olive trees have always been growing wild in this land but the Etruscans were the first to cultivate and prune them, around 3.000 years ago.

There are mainly two varieties at Montenidoli: Moraiolo, with black, small round berries, and Correggiolo, with green, slightly bigger, oval berries. It is a perfect pairing between the body of the black berries and the perfumes of the green berries. The olive oil is “the farmer’s gold”, the medicine and the strengthener of the body.


In his histories Herodotus tells us how the son of the king of Lydia, Tirreno, during a year of famine, prepared boats in Smirne, filled them up with seeds and rootstocks, and with his companions, sailed towards a new “Far West”.

They landed on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and crossing Umbria they arrived in Tuscany. They were the Etruscans: happy and joyful people that knew how to cultivate vines, make wine and pour it into their precious cups during their banquets. They lived at Montenidoli, planting olive trees and the rootstock of their vines. The house of Montenidoli was first built by them: we found the keystone of an Etruscan arch nearby.