La Spinetta Casanova
“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 others 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. Therefore, 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. Needless to say, with so many existing hectares of vines and potential vineyards, La Spinetta started building its third winery at Casanova, in 2004.”