Frescobaldi Buys Montepulciano’s Corte alla Flora
Former owner of S.S. Lazio soccer team sells his 148-acre wine estate to Tuscany’s Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi empire
Marchesi di Frescobaldi has added another estate to its Tuscany portfolio, buying Corte alla Flora in Montepulciano. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The owner, Sergio Cragnotti, a businessman from Rome and former owner of the Società Sportiva Lazio, the most famous soccer team in Lazio, decided to retire and contacted Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi president Lamberto Frescobaldi.
“It happened that this gentleman wanted to sell, so we decided to buy it,” Frescobaldi told Wine Spectator. “This came to us and we grabbed it.” The deal was completed in less than two weeks; after the 30-day regulation to satisfy any neighbors’ first right of refusal, Frescobaldi took control Sept. 10.
Located in the Cervognano zone of Montepulciano, one of its best areas, the property consists of 148 acres, of which 75 acres are planted to Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pugnitello and Petit Verdot. There is also Syrah, however, those vines will be pulled up according to Frescobaldi. “We want to focus on what does best in that place and make a wine that is not just good, but engaging,” said Frescobaldi.
The purchase includes a relatively new winery and the 2020 and 2019 vintages in cask that Frescobaldi is happy with. “The wines in the cellar are very good. We’ll make some selections, but we’re very happy.” They have also started picking the grapes for the 2021 harvest. “We are picking right now and the fruit is excellent.”
Frescobaldi hasn’t decided yet on the composition of the Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. “I need to do some tasting with some friends there and understand what works well and understand the place. It will take a good six months,” he said.
“We also have to come up with a name,” he added. “Flora is the name of Cragnotti’s wife.”
This latest acquisition gives the Frescobaldi company a foothold on all the best areas of Tuscany. Only one estate, Attems in Friuli, is outside Tuscany. This will be the ninth Tuscan estate under the Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi umbrella; Frescobaldi also owns Luce, Ornellaia and Masseto. “I think that Tuscany has great opportunities to make unique wines,” said Frescobaldi. “So why not Montepulciano? It’s a good place and capable of making terrific wines.”
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