The magnificent fortress that is Castello Romitorio, sits high on the hillside above the village of Montalcino, surrounded by vineyard land and forest. Once abandoned, the resurgence of this great Roman fort occurred in 1984, when famous artist Sandro Chia purchased it from friend Baron Giorgio Franchetti in exchange for a few of his paintings. As well as renovating the building to become his studio, Chia decided to re-plant the surrounding vineyards which too had been left forsaken and build a brand new winery at the foot of the fort. This fascinating building is adorned with treasures from the surrounding area; recovered Roman ruins, sculptures, amphorae and so on.
In 2005 Sandro’s son Fillipo Chia joined the business, and together with his father, they have built a reputation of critical acclaim for these wines. The estate consists of 16 hectares planted with Sangiovese on soils of marl, clay and alberese. Agronomist Massimo Achilli takes great care in the vineyard to best preserve the integrity of the Sangiovese grape, using low impact agricultural practices and sustainable choices where possible. In 2020 they began their journey toward Organic certification and hope to be officially certified by 2023. “Working with a vineyard is like working with an individual: you begin with what is already there, what exists, and seek not to change it but to enhance it’s unique place in the world.” Sandro Chia.
The wines at Castello di Romitorio show Sangiovese at its highest expression with vibrant fruit, noble tannins and the extra degree of maturity that you would expect from wines from Montalcino. Perfectly integrated wood aging, pure complex fruit and rich yet extremally elegant and appreciable character combine to produce some of the region’s most sought after wines. The stunning artwork which makes up the labels for Castello Romitorio’s wines are that of Sandro Chia’s, a fitting tribute to the man who brought life back to this land.
'The Castello Romitorio 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a classic expression of the vintage, showing lots of ripe fruit, crushed mineral, herbal nuances and varietal-driven purity. This wine nails that sweet spot between elegance and power that is not easily achieved. It offers an expanded array of Sangiovese flavors with wild cherry, forest floor, crushed clove and medicinal herb, but it also shows plump density and a velvety texture.' 95 points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (November 2020)