Fattoria Le Fonti

Halfway between Florence and Siena, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, lies the small village of Panzano. Just below the village church, at 450 m above sea level, is our property, the Fattoria Le Fonti. It extends over 15 hectares (37 acres); 8.5 hectares (21 acres) are vineyards and the rest olive groves.

Compared to other vineyards in the area, Le Fonti is a small boutique style farm producing about 40,000 bottles or 3300 cases a year. Since 1994 Le Fonti is in the hands of the Schmitt-Vitali family. From the harvest to the final blend, we depend on family manpower and sophisticated taste. For expert consultation and knowledge, we rely on our enologist Dr Stefano Chioccioli.

Since 1994 we have replanted all of the vineyards, taking great care to select the right type of plants with the correct rootstock. We have also renovated and extended the cellars. The roots of a great wine are found in the vineyard and we strive to keep them in balance by farming sustainably (organic). Thanks to our relative small size we can follow the production with great care: only the best grapes arrive in the cellar and only the best selections get bottled in the end.

 

 

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Le Fonti for a wine tasting or a cellar visit. For larger groups (more than 10 people), please contact us to make an appointment

 

Vineyards

Le Fonti’s vineyards are situated just below the village of Panzano, resembling a horseshoe-shape around the winery. Since 1994 all the vineyards have been replanted with selected rootstocks and plants adapted to our area, elevation and soil type.
 

 

The vineyards are farmed sustainably to save the integrity of the environment.We strongly believe that a great wine starts in the vineyard and thus take meticulous care of our vines and select only the best grapes for the cellar.
The vineyards are planted on a mixed soil of gravel, schist, limestone, sand and clay – a soil mixture also known as Galestro. The composition of soil differs throughout the property and our vines are planted to use this to their best advantage.

The Merlot vineyard, for example, is in a place where we used to have Sangiovese but due to the high content of clay and sand this soil made the growing of Sangiovese often difficult and the grapes suffered especially after heavy rains. For the Merlot in the same spot these problems are almost non-existent and it proved to be an excellent choice to let nature help itself.
Overall we have almost 85% Sangiovese vines, with the remainder equally divided between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

 

 

A year in the vineyard starts right after the harvest.
Around the middle of October we add a variety of seeds (from rocket, grass, red beets, beans to barley and rape seeds) to every second row in the vineyards. During germination the seeds aerate the soil and in spring the plants are cut down and incorporated into the soil as fertilizer.
 

 

During the winter months the vines are pruned back as well as the olives. With the arrival of spring, a selection of the first shots is made and the new plants start to get trained between the wires. While the plants continue to grow during the summer, the new branches have to be constantly “retrained” between the wires to keep them in place. Once a certain height is reached further canopy growth is discouraged to ensure that the plant’s energy is concentrated on the grapes and not leaf growth

As soon as the grapes start changing colour, usually around August, it is time for the green harvest. This means extra bunches will be cut off ensuring a better quality selection and a faster ripening in time for harvest.

By mid to end September we begin with the harvest for the Merlot grapes and in October the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are picked. After that it starts all over again….

 

Harvest at Le Fonti is always done manually and with great care to ensure only healthy and fully ripened grapes are selected and find their way into the cellar. The grapes are transported in small 15-20 kg cases to keep them in their best condition until arrival at the cellar.
 

 

At the cellar the grapes are destemmed and another selection is made. The destemmed grapes are then pumped into small to medium stainless steel fermentation tanks for a cold soaking for 2-3 days before the fermentation starts. Whenever possible we let the grapes start fermentation on their own with their own indigenous yeasts. Within the first 36-48 hours we bleed off 10-15% of the juices from all Sangiovese tanks, a process also called “Salasso”.

 


 

The bled-off juice continues to ferment in a cold environment as a white wine would without any further skin contact. The outcome is a wonderful fresh and fruity Rosé. But we do not only practice the salasso method to make some great Rosé, but also to increase the skin to must ratio which brings out a higher colour concentration in the red wines.

Meanwhile the wines go through a secondary fermentation, also called malolactic fermentation, where malic acid is transformed into milk acid, helping the red wine to get softer tannins. This secondary fermentation is usually finished by December and by January we can start making our blends and the wines are pumped into their various barrels for further aging.
 
 

 

If you are looking for a wonderful wine experience, come to Le Fonti. Fattoria Le Fonti is one of those places that you can’t get enough of. This family-run, boutique-style winery is situated just bellow the small village of Panzano, halfway between Florence and Siena, right in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. 

The warmth and hospitality of the family, the breathtaking views, and of course, excellent wine make a perfect combination for a great wine holiday whether you are alone, with friends, family, or you are on a romantic weekend getaway.

Since 1994, the Schmitt-Vitali family has replanted all of the vineyards, taking great care in selecting the right type of rootstock, and has also renovated the cellars, incorporating the latest technology to help them produce unique wines of the region.

Le Fonti’s small size and dedicated family involvement allow for meticulous care of the vineyard, ensuring that only the best grapes reach the cellar and the finest blends get bottled.
Learn the details of how wine is made from grapes to the bottle, taste their organic olive oil, hear the stories about the winery, take in the beautiful settings. Come to Fattoria Le Fonti!

 

 

le fonti family

Come join us for a cellar tour and a tasting at Le Fonti.

The winery is open Monday to Friday from 10am to  06pm.

Saturday  from 11 am to 05 pm

For other times, please give us a call or send an email to make an appointment.

Please note we’re a small winery and can only accomodate small groups.

 

 

Fattoria Le Fonti
Vicky Schmitt-Vitali
I-50022 Panzano in Chianti(FI)
Tel: +39 055 852194
Fax: +39 055 852517
 
 

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