CASTELLO DI FONTERUTOLI IN CASTELLINA IN CHIANTI
The historical home of the Mazzei family since 1435, for no less than a total of 24 generations, the village of Fonterutoli retains its original medieval appearance even today. Its origins are very ancient, attested by an Etruscan necropolis near the village and a Roman road running through it, the famous Via Romea. With its small number of stone buildings, the church of San Miniato in the village piazza and the Villa built at the end of the 16th century in place of the fortified castle, Fonterutoli has all the innate charm of somewhere that has remained unchanged and intact over time. The village, a historic Florentine stronghold, can be accessed via the Chiantigiana, the scenic road that crosses the Chianti region connecting Florence to Siena.
The Bed & Breakfast accommodation provided by Castello Fonterutoli Wine Resort takes the form of a ‘dispersed hotel’, with the rooms and facilities spread out across multiple buildings and houses. The country-chic style rooms are all inspired by the colours of Chianti, restored with the discerning taste of the Mazzei family. All the rooms are located in the historic heart of the village, so staying with us guarantees an authentic experience, with original stone walls, terracotta floors, wooden beams and large fireplaces creating a warm and enveloping atmosphere, amid views of the Tuscan countryside, hills, vineyards and olive groves all around.
The Mazzei family has been involved in the tradition of wine production here for centuries. The property surrounding the village consists of 117 hectares of vineyards, and the grapes are vinified in the family's spectacular wine cellar, which is carved into the rock and was designed by architect Agnese Mazzei. It is open for visits all year round.
THE HISTORY OF CASTELLO DI FONTERUTOLI
Fonterutoli was already established in Etruscan times and later in the Roman era under the names of ‘Fons Rutolae’ and ‘Fons Rutilant’. It served as a stopping and resting point for those travelling between Florence and Siena and was an important village even in Roman times. The Via Romea passes through here and is still traversed by pilgrims from all over the world. In 998, Emperor Otto III of the Holy Roman Empire stipulated by deed the possessions of the Aretine Church in the Sienese County. Peace treaties defining the historic assignment of Chianti to the territory of the Florentine Republic were signed in Fonterutoli in 1202 and 1208.
According to popular legend, in the early 13th century, the Podestà governors of Florence and Siena, weary of the constant warring in the Chianti region, decided to entrust the definition of the borders to a race between two knights who were to set off at the first crowing of a rooster, one from Florence and the other from Siena. The boundary would then be determined at the point of convergence. The Florentines chose a skinny, hungry, black rooster that constantly crowed for food, which meant that on the morning of the race, their rooster started to crow well before dawn, allowing the Florentine horseman to set off with a great advantage and cover much ground before the two riders met. Their meeting point was precisely at Fonterutoli, practically within spitting distance of Siena. Be it legend or fact, Florence duly extended its border to Fonterutoli on the line of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, where it established the Military and Administrative League of Chianti, appropriately adopting the Black Rooster as its emblem.
The earliest documents concerning the Mazzei family – originally from the wine region of Carmignano – date back to the beginning of the 11th century. The family's oldest coat of arms dates back to this period, bearing three wooden hammers, typical tools of the art of master coopers and barrel makers. It was in the 14th century that the three iron maces, which still appear on the coat of arms today, were added. From its origin, the Mazzei family was collectively engaged in viticulture and actively participated in the mercantile and professional life of Florence, eventually reaching important government positions. Ser Lapo Mazzei (1350-1412), a vintner in Carmignano, a passionate advocate of winemaking, served as a Notary of the Florentine Signoria, and was Ambassador and Proconsul of the Guild of Judges and Notaries. He is also considered the 'father' of the Chianti appellation: it is to him that we owe the first known document using the designation, which appeared in a commercial contract bearing his signature, dated 16 December 1398. 'And we are to give, on this date, 3 florins, 26 soldi and 8 denari to Piero di Tino Riccio, for 6 barrels of Chianti wine... the said payments to be made by Ser Lapo Mazzei.' (Datini Archives). It is, however, to Ser Lapo Mazzei's niece, Madonna Smeralda, who married Piero di Agnolo da Fonterutoli, that the Mazzei family acquired the ownership of Fonterutoli, passed down from 1435 to the present day and now spanning 24 generations.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES: ACCOMMODATION, WEDDINGS AND PRIVATE EVENTS IN THE CHIANTI REGION
It is possible to visit the Mazzei winery, participate in guided tours or taste the wines in the wine shop all year round. We organise cooking classes, and for food lovers, the Osteria Fonterutoli offers authentic Tuscan dishes made with top-quality local ingredients, served in the country-chic ambience of the indoor dining room or on the panoramic terrace overlooking the hills, among vineyards and olive groves. In the area around Fonterutoli, there are opportunities for various excursions, including horseback riding, cycling and trekking, while there are many important art cities and historic villages in the vicinity.