The Fontodi estate is located in Panzano, almost at the centre of the Chianti Classico region. Like Felsina, which claims an Etruscan origin for its name, Fontodi also has a long history; vines have been cultivated here since the time of the Roman empire, and documents prove there was vinification here as far back as the 16th Century, at a farmhouse then referred to as Case Via. The current owners, the Manetti family, also have many centuries of history in Chianti, although not with viticulture. For three hundred years this family has been renowned for the manufacture of terracotta, but it was not until 1968 that the family decided to move into wine, with the purchase of Fontodi.
The Fontodi wines skillfully straddle the line between traditional and modern styles and do so with a distinctive character all their own. The use of new oak, especially on the top crus, is more pronounced than some of out other favorite producers, but the quality and intensity of fruit produced by this exceptional estate admirably absorbs and integrates it. The Chianti Classico is always a top value, and the top crus, “Vigna del Sorbo” and “Flaccianello” are renowned for their power and ageability. The current proprietor, Giovanni Manetti, is forward-looking and yet, at the same time, deeply committed to traditional and sustainable practices. He runs a thoroughly modern operation, yet seems most passionate when describing how his compost heap is just one part of his completely self-sustaining estate.