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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · italy · Tuscany · Wine and art

Fattoria Nittardi

Author: Anothertravelguide.com1 COMMENT

Fattoria Nittardi

The site of Fattoria Nittardi was once a fortress, and, if historical documents are to be trusted, grapes have been grown there since the 12th century. At that time the property even had the very appropriate name Nectar Dei, or God’s Nectar. For a time in the 16th century it belonged to the legendary Renaissance genius Michelangelo Buonarroti. He established his own vineyard here and always took along wine as a gift when visiting the pope in Rome. In 1549, while painting the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo wrote to his nephew: ‘I’d prefer two casks of wine rather than eight shirts.’ In fact, Fattoria Nittardi continues to honour ancient traditions by sending the first bottles of each vintage of its Nectar Dei wine to the pope.

Foto: Fattoria NittardiFoto: Fattoria NittardiFoto: Fattoria Nittardi

Since 1982 the property has belonged to the German art gallery owner Peter Femfert, who has begun another intriguing tradition. To wit, every year the design of the labels on a limited series of its Chianti Classico is entrusted to a different well-known contemporary artist. Including even the likes of Yoko Ono, whose label with the caption ‘Imagine You’ graced 3000 bottles of 2005 Chianti Classico Casanuova. The list of artists also includes Polish artist Igor Mitoraj, Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and German author and Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass, whose label featured a hand-drawn snail on a grape branch. The snail motif also shows up in Grass’ writing, namely, the title of his 1972 novel, From the Diary of a Snail (Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke).

Foto: Fattoria NittardiFoto: Fattoria NittardiFoto: Fattoria Nittardi

In addition to a label, each of the featured artists also creates the wrapping paper for the bottles. Needless to say, all of these wines are now collectors’ items and show up at auctions now and then. There have been a few interesting stories linked with this project, too. For example, one artist refused the offer to design a label because he doesn’t drink wine (and therefore does not feel it, either).

The heart of Fattoria Nittardi is an old stone building centred around a medieval tower. As befits a typical Tuscan winery, it is encircled by cypresses, grape vines, and olive trees. Situated throughout Nittardi’s slightly wild garden are also sculptures and installations made by Mitoraj and Friedensreich as well as Heiner Meyer, Dietrich Klinge, and others. Additionally, Femfert has an impressive collection of 15 stone lions. For those who wish to combine hedonistic pleasures with an intellectually meditative challenge, on the terrace there’s a large-scale chess board with game pieces the size of a human child. And, of course, with an intoxicating view of the surrounding landscape.

Località Nittardi, 53011 Castellina in Chianti SI
nittardi.com

11/2017

 

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