The history of the Mazzei family is closely linked not only to the vitiviniculture in Tuscany but also to the entire political and cultural life of the region. The first documents concerning the Mazzei originating from Carmignano wine area, date back to the beginning of the eleventh century.
Fonterutoli became the property of the Mazzei family in 1435 thanks to the marriage between Ser Lapo's nephew and Piero di Agnolo da Fonterutoli, and has been transmitted to date through 24 generations. Even today the Mazzei family, first under the guidance of Lapo and now their sons Filippo and Francesco, leads the properties, dedicating themselves to the wine-making activity with a constant and innovative commitment in respect of the territory.
Lapo Mazzei, some years ago, noted that a glass of Chianti Classico was fifty percent wine and fifty percent history. One can experience this history by visiting the hamlet of Fonterutoli, which is not only an estate and a cellar but also an enoteca, a bistro-type restaurant and a place to stay. A place where one can stop for a brief or longer period of time, a place of discovery a little world apart.
The winery, which is located in the area with the same name near Castellina in Chianti, is striking due to its classic contemporary style, functions and spaces. Architect Agnese Mazzei had to deal with very complicated design needs: a winery that is 75% underground, a surface area of 10,000 m2 and a natural gravity grape process thoughout three floors.
The winery, which appears suddenly without infringing upon the harmonious balance between nature, land and the old village, welcomes visitors, inviting them on a journey of growing amazement, eventually reaching the lowest level, where the barrel cellar moves everyone with its borderline sacred and inviolable space. The sides of the winery, which consist of several overlapping arches, were covered in simple local clay bricks that were shaped according to the design by the Mazzei architectural studio. What is obtained is a new and original chiaroscuro effect. A large, central, semi-circular space welcomes the grapes, which fall from the piazza into the vat room, the centre of gravity of all of the cellar’s activities. All visitor areas and office lead off from the vat room.