When asked: “You’re Piemontese, why make wines in Tuscany?” Giorgio Rivetti laughs with a smirk.

“I needed to prove a point” he says. “One dinner, after many glasses of wine, a great friend of mine and I had a discussion where he insisted that in Tuscany it was impossible to make great Chianti without adding other grape varietals.  I strongly disagreed with him and we had a big argument. The following morning the conversation was still weighing on my mind so my brothers Bruno, Carlo and I decided to go on a road trip and see if we could find a piece of land that intrigued us and could lend way to our experiment. That was in 2000. My friend today is also convinced that you can make fantastic Chianti with 100% Sangiovese. I must remember to thank him for his idea.”

So how did the Rivettis end up in Tuscany?  An Estate of these dimensions was never actually planned.  Fifteen years ago, the Rivetti brothers would not have dreamed of one day running such a large and important winery in Tuscany. However, when one domino falls, the other follow and the movement is difficult to stop…

The first piece was tipped over by Giorgio Rivetti and his philosophy of producing wine from exclusively indigenous varieties. Giorgio severely criticized his Tuscan winemaking colleagues, not understanding why producers were ripping out beautiful old Sangiovese vineyards in order to make space for young Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, an action mostly directed toward serving a global taste market. These discussions frequently ended in verbal altercations, and during one such disagreement a certain Tuscan producer challenged Giorgio — instead of just talking and criticizing, perhaps it was time, he said, that Giorgio tried to make some good Sangiovese himself. Doing so, Giorgio would then realize that it was not so easy. Giorgio accepted the challenge. Once agreed, Giorgio felt that there was no going back. Herefore, he immediately started looking for old Sangiovese vineyards in the area of Pisa.

The 2001 Sezzana was the result of this challenge. After the acquisition of a Cru vineyard near Casciana Terme, the grapes were then transported in refrigerated trucks to the Castagnole Lanze winery in Piedmont and 10,000 bottles of Sezzana 2001 were made.

With the success of this wine, it was agreed that La Spinetta had indeed met the challenge. At the time, however, nobody was aware that a friend of the Rivettis living in Tuscany, Gabriele, was continuing the search for additional Sangiovese vineyards. In 2002, Gabriele offered the Rivetti brothers the opportunity to purchase another Sangiovese Cru vineyard, Sassontino near Terricciola (Casanova).

This Cru also had beautiful old Sangiovese vines, undoubtedly excellent for producing another first-rate single vineyard wine. In addition to the vineyard, the owner was looking to sell 50 hectares of land. The price of the land seemed very reasonable, especially since the Rivettis were used to prices in Piedmont, and thus the family felt they could not turn down the offer and ended up with 4 hectares of old Sangiovese vines and 50 hectares of surrounding land yet to be planted.

With so many existing hectares of vines and potential vineyards, La Spinetta started building its third winery at Casanova in 2004. La Spinetta’s Tuscan Estate lies in the village of Terricciola, between Pisa and Volterra. Here the Rivettis make wines from three indigenous varieties: Sangiovese, Colorino, and Vermentino. The most prestigious wines are the single-vineyard Sezzana and Sassontino, crated from 100% Sangiovese grapes coming from more than 50 years old vines. As Sezzana and Sassontino are wines with incredible life span, the Rivettis release both as Riservas and only after 10 years. 

Il Nero di Casanova and Chianti Riserva (both 100% Sangiovese) make up the majority of the production at Casanova, though il Colorino (100% Colorino), il Gentile di Casanova (100% Prugnolo Gentile), and Vermentino are also made here. 

The latest addition to the Tuscan wine portfolio is an exciting dry Rosé wine, made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Prugnolo Gentile. The Il Rosé di Casanova is not produced from green harvest fruit, as is sometimes the case with rosé wines, but instead comes from the same ripe fruit that is used for Il Nero and Il Gentile. 

Last, but certainly not least, Casanova is the home of La Spinetta’s already famous gourmet olive oil. Bruno Rivetti found his passion at Terricciola and crafts the olive oil with the same high standards that La Spinetta applies to its production of wine. Extremely low yields, thanks to a relatively early harvest, and immediate cold pressing at an onsite facility allow Bruno to produce a very special olive oil. 



Il Rosé di Casanova Toscana IGT

This pale orange-pink Tuscan Rosé is a blend of Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile (a Sangiovese clone).  Tart and juicy, with citrusy grapefruit and tangerine dominating the nose and mouth, the wine’s aromatic profile is enriched by white peach and strawberry and floral and mineral notes.  The Rosé shows great clarity, with a suave, penetrating finish that lingers with a floral tenacity.  A great summer wine and an excellent accompaniment to fish and poultry.  

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Il Vermentino di Casanova Toscana IGT

This fresh, lively white sees only stainless steel with aromas of bright citrus, flowers, herbs and a touch of meringue on the nose.  Nuanced and wonderfully focused, the Vermentino has an energy and acidity that drives the wine’s enticing personality.  This is a medium-to full-bodied wine with good density, ideal enjoyed quite young. 

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Il Nero di Casanova Toscana IGT

This is a pure expression of Sangiovese from 20-year-old vines surrounding the Casanova winery. The Nero di Casanova offers a complex aromatic profile of pressed rose, wet earth, liquorice and wild Mediterranean brush, fully expressing its Tuscan fingerprint. This wine has a distinct structure and power not unlike the more well-known Brunello or Montepulciano and aging in ten-year-old oak casks adds further integration, definition and stability to this exciting wine.

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Il Gentile di Casanova Toscana IGT

Prugnolo Gentile is a Sangiovese clone from the Montepulciano, receiving particular attention from Giorgio Rivetti at La Spinetta estate in Tuscany.  The wine opens with raw, genuine aromas of black fruit, spice, liquorice and menthol, offering heft and power, but also good acidity and ripe silky tannins.  Pretty and elegant in the mouth, the Gentile presents an authentic taste of Tuscany.

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Il Colorino di Casanova Toscana IGT

Colorino is a relatively unknown black-skinned Tuscan grape variety, predominantly used as a blending ingredient to add color to wines.  Its small berries also have a significant level of tannin, resulting in quite structured wines.  The Colorino di Casanova reveals up-front aromas of wild cherries, tobacco, smoke and leather with herbs and liquorice adding complexity to the finish. 

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Chianti Riserva DOCG

The Chianti Riserva is 100% Sangiovese from old vines (30 years), lending concentration and density.  A welcome diversion from the textbook Chianti of the past, this is a surprising wine of personality and character with rich, saturated color and aromas of dark fruit, leather, wet earth and spicy overtones of cinnamon and clove.  This Chianti is aged in large oak casks, imparting a broad and bold structure, yet the wine remains silky and aromatically precise at the same time. 

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Sassontino Riserva Toscana IGT

The Sassontino is a pure expression of Sangiovese from 45-year-old vines, allowed to age slowly at the winery for a full ten years before its release to market.  This is an incredibly fine and elegant illustration of the quintessential Tuscan grape with red and blue berry aromas followed by crushed rocks, balsam herb and licorice.  The vineyard site is characterized by loose, sandy soils with a notable presence of ocean sediments, contributing to the aromatic purity and finesse of the final result.  Rich and dense, a delightful vibrancy gives this Riserva a gracefulness that will continue to evolve for many years.

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Sezzana Riserva Toscana IGT

The Sezzana is a twin of the Sassontino, though not an identical one.  The grape is always 100% Sangiovese from 45-year-old vines, but the the Sezzana vineyard sees heavier, volcanic soils with gravel and larger stones.  (The two vineyard sites, Sezzana and Sassontino, are located only six kilometers apart!)  The Sezzana is a more muscular wine with aromas of red berries, rose, white pepper and minerals whose harmonious acidity grants balance and character to the important structure and fruit at the wine’s core.

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