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Tuscany's Royal Family of Wine
Welcome to the ancient Villa Cusona, home to Tuscany's Guicciardini Strozzi family since the 15th century.
The Strozzis are one of the most influential families in Italian history. As prominent bankers and heads of state, they became rivals to the legendary Medici family. For a time, their private secretary was none other than Niccolò Machiavelli, and they can trace their ancestry directly to Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo (aka, the Mona Lisa).
The secluded Villa Cusona was built back in 994 AD on the outskirts of the medieval town of San Gimignano. Today, this picturesque and private spot is a well-known vacation destination for many of the world's elite (all close friends of the 15th-generation Prince Girolamo Strozzi).
Within the confines of the villa (and beyond to a few premium, local districts) are the Strozzi vineyards. Not long ago, these well-sited vines caught the attention of one distinguished guest in particular ... and what happened next was a delicious turn of fate.
Meet 'Mr. Sangiovese'
Influential winemaking maestro Franco Bernabei is the genius behind some of Tuscany's most iconic reds (his Fontodi Flaccianello sells for $100+ a bottle).
Franco is your classic, larger-than-life, characterful Italian. He is also, according to the Italian press, "enologo di fama mondiale e noto a molti con il nickname di Mister Sangiovese". Roughly translated: a world-renowned winemaker who's known among his peers as Mr. Sangiovese (he has the accolades to prove it, including 'Italian Winemaker of the Year'). So who better to make the most of the prime Strozzi vineyards? Franco and Prince Girolamo struck up a close bond and have been making top-quality wines together ever since.
Your Exclusive Invitation...
Back in early 2011, our intrepid Italian wine buyer Anne Forrest was given exclusive access to the Strozzi cellars and three of Franco's exciting new releases.
'The Strozzi Collection' features cherry-packed Chianti from the premium Colli Senesi district; rich, dark-fruited Morellino di Scansano, and a classic Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot from coastal Maremma (home to the finest Super Tuscans of all).
Chocolaty Super Tuscan
Principe Strozzi "Selvascura" Toscana IGT 2010
Aristocratic Estate Chianti
Principe Strozzi Chianti DOCG 2010