Ruffino, Folonari’s treasure

Ruffino, Folonari’s treasure
Gianni Mercatali

The winery is the pride and joy of the wine-making world

 alcuni vini dei Tenimenti Ruffino 2

To American consumers, Chianti stands for Ruffino: a Nielsen research has acknowledged that the Riserva Ducale wine represents over 15% of the value of all Chianti and Chianti Classico wines on the market.
However, Ruffino is not only Chianti. The winery, taken over by the Folonari family in 1913, has counted on the production of diverse wines, but all top-scoring, such as the ‘Romitiorio di Santedame’ which earned a 94-point rating on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale and was awarded the ‘Tre Bicchieri’ prize by Gambero Rosso.
Considerable investments in the vineyards and cellars, research and experimentation are the key ingredients of the Folonaris’ success and prove that wine is the result of both tradition and innovation.
‘Our production philosophy- says Luigi Folonari, managing director of Ruffino- has always been based on the knowledge of the territory, the respect for the great Tuscan wine tradition, the passion for autochthonous vines and not only’.
At present, Ruffino properties include seven estates and nine holdings amounting to over 1500 hectares of which 650 planted with vineyards. The closest one to Florence , a few kilometres from the city centre, is the ‘Tenuta di Poggio Casciano’ whose origins date back to the 11th century. Several local noble families lived there, like the Soderinis. Paolo Antonio Soderini was cousin to Lorenzo the Magnificent. The 14th century villa is set on the top of the hill, surrounded by vineyards, and is today Paolo Folonari’s residence. The guests quarters are situated in a wing of the house. Poggio Casciano, with its 222 hectares, is one of the biggest Ruffino estates, while the vineyards spread over an area of 62 hectares consisting of hills lying at different levels and with different exposures and, thus, with an incredible variety of microclimates. That’s what makes possible the growing of different grape varieties, like Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir.