Fontalsalice is located in the countryside of Gambassi Terme, in an ancient hamlet close to Varna. The latest generation brand, due to be launched late in 2016, is inspired by the three willows growing on the estate close to their respective water sources and which define the outlines of the landscape.
Three is also the number of brothers on both sides of the family, without whom this story would never have begun.
The surrounding area, rich in fossil shells, clearly evidences a distant history of climate change that has determined the present morphology of the land and testifies to the passage of the ice age and a period in which this territory was submerged in water. The formation of sandy and clayey soil facilitated the introduction of our main crops (vines and olive trees) by the Etruscan people, skilled and forward-looking builders who contributed to laying the foundations for the future populations of the region. The history of our land can be traced back to Neolithic times, and the most ancient documents dating back to the XII century AD tell of a church and a nearby hospital which used to be a resting place for the pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena. It was then that sharecropping caught on in Tuscany. This agricultural agreement provided for an equal division between the landowner and the peasant (sharecropper) of products and profits deriving from the farming of the land. The origins of the Lepri family can be traced back to this period, when sharecropping marked the passage from traditional to modern agriculture. As is often the case, the land was handed down from father to son and so was the art of cultivating the grapevine, starting from the early period under Florentine rule, up until the foundation of the Lega del Chianti. During World Wars I and II, the farmhouse was destroyed by bombs coming from the nearby city of San Gimignano.
With its roots deeply set in the foundations of the business, the family set about modernizing the old vineyards dating back to the sharecropping period and focused all efforts on this primary symbol of human civilization, to bring it up to date.
For this purpose, in 2000 Claudio Lepri purchased a cluster of houses close to a church on the hilltop of Cispiano. This is the story behind the Rocca di Cispiano label, a Chianti Classico for families, friends and summer visitors to the hamlet.
Cispiano means "Home of Cispio", probably the name of a Roman soldier who settled in the Chianti area, since it stands on the former foundations of a Roman construction. The present-day construction actually appears on the Guelph Captains’ Maps dating back to the mid sixteenth century, from which the illustration on the label has been taken. There is evidence of wine-making activities as far back as the start of...
Chianti has always been a largely agricultural region. The Etruscans probably introduced vine growing here.
Regarding the history of the Black Rooster, you can visit the web site of the Chianti Classico Consortium.
When the Lepri family arrived in 2000, the old and unproductive vineyards of 1950 were replaced by the modern systems that have determined the international success of prestigious companies in the Chianti area.
Once the farm buildings were no longer used as farm workers’ homes, they were restored and turned into the Rocca di Cispiano holiday farm, where guests can come to relax in summer, far from the chaos of the city.
Aware of the potential of the firm, Claudio Lepri started to put his father’s teachings to fruit and built a bottling cellar, in preparation for the firm’s debut on the wine market.
“The mission is not yet accomplished, either in the fields or on the market. This encourages us to fully express the huge potential of our vineyards and to reconcile what the future reserves with the heritage of Tuscan taste, comprising its tradition and culture.
But it shouldn’t be too difficult… because this is Tuscany!”
Thanks to the experience gained over the years and to state-of-the-art equipment, Lorenzo, Claudio's son, is searching for the most effective format for enhancing the prestige of the Rocca di Cispiano label and the new Fontalsalice label, due to be launched by the end of 2016.
We wish to thank in advance the wine guides and all those who contribute to making our future experience an agreeable one.