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Corzano e Paterno

The Spirit of ’69: Delicious, Earth-to-Glass Tuscany…
Corzano e Paterno

When we started importing Corzano e Paterno’s wines, few wanted to hear about organic farming, wild-yeast fermentations and the delicious, easy-drinking ‘big cask’ style of Chianti that had become so hard to find in those days. After all, this was when most in Tuscany were beholden to the bigger-is-better philosophy peddled by rockstar consultants and US-based advocates. How times have changed!

With the dream of restoring the then run-down Corzano farm to its former glory, Florence-based Swiss architect Wendel Gelpke purchased the estate in San Casciano Val di Pesa in 1969. Not long after, he was joined by his sister, Katerina Goldschmidt, thereby uniting the extended family who work and live on this land to this day.

As well as ‘mucking in’, each of Wendel and Katerina’s children has found their own role within the broader community of the farm. Tillo Gelpke tends the estate’s herd of Sardinian sheep, whose famous Pecorino cheese is the equal of any on the mainland. His sister Sibilla looks after the estate’s classy agrotourism accommodation, and Arianna, born and raised on the farm, manages the cellar and winemaking. Last but not least, their viticulturist cousin, Aljoscha Goldschmidt, manages the vineyards while overseeing the production of some of the finest Tuscan olive oil money can buy.

Everything the Corzano e Paterno farm produces tastes fresh and of the earth, and the estate’s wines keep bringing us back each year. Driven by their own philosophy about authenticity and a sense of place, this family’s current crop of wines sings of the rocky, chalky-clay soils of this part of the Colli Fiorentini while also delivering fabulous drinkability and genuine value. We hope you enjoy the wines as much as we enjoy shipping them.

The Wines

Corzano e Paterno I Tre Borri 2020

Corzano e Paterno I Tre Borri 2020

Named after the three small rivers that converge on the property, I Tre Borri is the most profound and generous arrow in Corzano’s quiver. It is pure Sangiovese sourced from three parcels of the estate’s oldest vines, planted by Wendel Gelpke in the 1970s, cropped at levels that deliver enough fruit for one bottle per vine. As of 2015, Corzano has declassified this bottling from Chianti Riserva to Toscana Rosso. Aljoscha Goldschmidt felt that the image of the Riserva DOCG was in a tailspin, and for this bottling—crafted from the cream of Corzano’s Sangiovese—he preferred the IGT Toscana Rosso badge to convey the quality and philosophy behind this label.

With minimal pushdowns, the wine can spend up to a month on skins before being pressed off to 25-hectolitre large-format oak and used tonneaux for just under two years. And while it is the only Corzano red that sees some new barrels (sourced from a very fine Burgundy cooperage), the oak is always deftly integrated within the layers of ripe fruit and textured fullness that are the hallmarks of this wine.

From a warm year, this is gorgeous: spicy, complex aromas and then a sleek and fresh palate with an intensity that almost fastens itself to your tongue—plus stacks of potential lurking beneath its elegant façade. Ripe cherry and tobacco, dried herbs, spices and iron-filing characters give the textured palate enormous nuance and complexity. The finish is long and mouth-watering, with sour-plum Sangiovese acidity and fully ripe, fine tannins driving to a lingering close. Although it is beautifully balanced today, this will surely age well.

Corzano e Paterno I Tre Borri 2020
Corzano e Paterno Toscana Rosso Il Corzanello 2022

Corzano e Paterno Toscana Rosso Il Corzanello 2022

Organic. This is Corzano’s delicious and easy-drinking entry-level red—an IGT Toscana Rosso bringing together Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a dollop of Merlot. Named after the medieval fortified farmhouse on Corzano’s property, fruit for this wine chiefly grows on the estate’s cooler sites, and the winemaking is tuned towards preserving the wine’s vibrant aromas and bright-fruited charm. Accordingly, the grapes are given a pre-fermentation cold soak for nine days before the wine begins fermenting naturally in stainless steel. “We are not looking for lots of structure,” says winemaker Arianna Gelpke, and so the juices are separated from their skins after only a few days to continue their fermentation in stainless-steel vats.

This is Tuscan value at its finest: supple and fresh with floral and herb-scented red fruit aromas and a succulent, sweet-fruited palate bound by food-friendly Tuscan tannins and freshening acidity. Ready for drinking now, this lip-smacking rosso is the kind of wine where one bottle is rarely enough. Try it with anything from barbequed chicken or silky ragù to woodfired pizza—a wine for all occasions.


Corzano e Paterno Toscana Rosso Il Corzanello 2022
Corzano e Paterno Chianti Terre di Corzano 2021

Corzano e Paterno Chianti Terre di Corzano 2021

The estate’s core wine is the Chianti Terre di Corzano, which translates as ‘soils of Corzano’. It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese co-fermented with 10% Canaiolo, all hand-harvested from Corzano’s rocky, south-facing slopes. The soils here are what the Italians call alberese—compact clay/limestone littered with pebbles—which tends to yield particularly aromatic reds. 

Incorporating 15% whole bunches, the wine was naturally fermented and aged in a combination of 25- and 40-hectolitre botti, a traditional maturation that has become rare in today’s barrique-obsessed Tuscany. Arianna Gelpke enjoys the softening impact of large-format wood on Sangiovese tannins, and we can only agree.

From an outstanding vintage, Corzano’s transparent style, emphasising purity of fruit, is in full flight. It’s bursting with the essence of hillside Sangiovese, with fresh cherry and berry aromas and a refined and silky palate perfectly framed by cooling bergamot tang and feathery tannins. The Canaiolo brings a dab of spice to the palette of cherry, liquorice and woodland complexity that builds to a juicy finish. It’s welcoming right down to the final swallow; a moreish snapshot of the Florentine hills.

Corzano e Paterno Chianti Terre di Corzano 2021

“The estate is technically outside of Chianti Classico, but by a mere few hundred yards. The wines of Aljoscha Goldschmidt, however, are easily the equal of those of many a famous name inside the zone.” Stephan Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

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