CASTELLO LA LECCIA
Historical texts first make mention of Castello La Leccia in 1077, a deed referencing the sale of part of the property to a nobleman. In the 1400’s, the famous Ricalosi family annexed much of the Chianti area during Florence’s long and bloody rivalry with Sienna. Even then, viticulture was at the heart of the estate as Andrea Ricasoli lamented in 1529, “…perhaps fifty Sienese soldiers came to my dwelling in Chianti called la Leccia, where…they burnt all that was in the place…and 200 barrels of wine in the cellars were all spilled…”
In the 1920’s, the Daddi family purchased the castle and its surroundings, and in their attentive care it would remain for almost 100 years. Francesco Daddi took the reins of the family estate in 1997, and worked tirelessly at making incremental improvements, not the least of which was the return to the organic viticulture of his ancestors. He also worked closely with renowned architect Alessandro Loni Coppedè to restore crumbled portions of the castle and the gardens to former glory. Francesco is mild-mannered and affable, the very definition of a gentleman. But he harbors a perfectionist streak that has led to world-class wine. Ever the restless visionary, he moved on from La Leccia in 2018 to begin work at another famed medieval estate, Ormanni, leaving the castle and vineyards in the capable hands of the Swiss Sonderegger family and general manager Guido Orzalesi.
The vineyards surround the Castello at altitudes ranging from 300 to 500 meters, with south and southwest exposure, and marl and chalk soils. They grow primarily Sangiovese, that most vital grape to Tuscany, along with small plots of other native varieties. The vines’ excellent exposure combined with the deftly tempered use of oak in the cellar makes for formidable incarnations of Chianti Classico, structured and powerful yet subtle and grounded.