The estate was in disrepair when they purchased it in 1999, and the vineyards were replanted over the next couple of years. These three wines were just the second release following this replanting activity.
The Villa Il Palagio perches elegantly at the top of a long steep drive, overlooking the distant Tuscan hills and the undulating countryside which has always had profound agricultural significance. The nearby medieval town of Figline Valdarno was known as the "barn of Florence" for its abundant corn supplies. Grains, wine, oil, sugar beets, peaches, apricots and cherries have long been grown here. The estate extends to some 350 hectares, much of the land given over to forest, incorporating some beautiful lakes.
Il Palagio has always been farmed. In the late 1700s the Martelli family purchased the property and as their wealth grew, so did the estate. In 1819 they sold to the Countess Carlotta Barbolani of Montauto, the widow of the Duke of San Clemente and it remained in this family’s hands for some 150 years. At the beginning of the twentieth century Duke Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati di San Clemente commissioned several new buildings including a grain store, oil mill and wine production area. When Sting and Trudie first came across the estate in 1999, it had by then fallen into a state of disrepair. They set about the task of lovingly restoring the house, the outbuildings and the land to their former glory.
Il Palagio is now so prolific in output that Sting and Trudie have opened a farm shop selling everything made or grown on the estate, including fresh vegetables and fruits, and the local salami. View all Il Palagio Wines
About Tuscany(TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.