The Castello di Fonterutoli, one of the most prestigious Chianti Classico wineries, has been in the Mazzei Family for twenty-five generations, since 1435. The first use of the term ‘Vino di Chianti’ - Chianti wine - appears in a contract drawn up by Ser Lapo Mazzei in 1398.
It was Ser Lapo’s granddaughter, Madonna Smeralda, who first came into possession of the Fonterutoli estate in 1435.
In more recent times, another ancestor and passionate vine grower from the Mazzei family left a strong mark in the history of the United States of America. Philip Mazzei (1730 -1816) - liberal thinker and “citizen of the world” - best represents the innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial spirit that has characterized the Mazzei family throughout its history. Philip inspired Thomas Jefferson with the idea that “All men are by nature equally free and independent”.
Today Castello di Fonterutoli has a reputation for quality and excellence among wine connoisseurs all over the world. Fonterutoli is a state-of-the-art winery, a unique lifestyle oasis, an authentic slice of historic rural Tuscany that lives and breathes as a form of art.
Under the guidance of Filippo, the modernization effort started by his father, Lapo, found a new impetus. Filippo dedicated himself to leading the family business full-time, striving to improve continuously the quality of the wines, and expanding distribution into the main export markets.
Thanks to the attentive business development work of Filippo’s brother, Francesco, the Mazzei family approached new development projects. He pioneered the acquisition of the Belguardo Estate in Maremma in 1997, and Zisola, in Sicily in 2003.
Giovanni, Filippo’s eldest son, has always had a deep bond with the Castello di Fonterutoli estate and its wine-making. For some years it has been his personal ambition of to develop a wine from the exceptional Sangiovese vines of Il Caggio. Giovanni is leading the legacy of Mazzei family know-how at Il Caggio: home of Ipsus.
Agnese Mazzei studied Architecture and Monument Conservation in Florence, and has since worked on the restoration of rural structures in the Tuscan countryside.
In 2000 she created her own firm, designing innovative, state-of-the-art wine cellars for some of the most important Tuscan wineries (Tenuta San Guido “Sassicaia”, Fonterutoli, Antinori “La Braccesca” and Castello di Brolio are just some celebrated examples).
Agnese is currently working on the realization of Ipsus winery and on the restoration of the “Borgo” of Caggio.