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Corzano e Paterno

No Classico, No Cry: Wonderful ‘Farmhouse’ Chianti from a Bohemian Organic Estate

Character and soul. If we’re talking frankly, these are not virtues we typically associate with the modern-day wines of Chianti. Yet there are obviously exceptions and one of these is Aljoscha Goldschmidt’s Corzano e Paterno. With a dirt-under-the-fingernails approach, Goldschmidt and his team craft a small yet vibrant collection of wines from the steep, stony slopes of San Casciano in Val di Pesa, just south of Florence, on the Chianti Classico border. 

Aljoscha (or Joshi) loves to do everything by hand, making him unique in the Tuscan wine scene. Here, consultants with new oak and viticultural gizmos are not welcome, and stately buildings, manicured gardens and tourist trap paraphernalia are replaced by a naturally beautiful working farm in the hills, studded with ancient buildings that have been tastefully maintained (you can rent these farmhouses, an option that we very highly recommend!). 

An intuitive viticulturist, driven by his own philosophy about authenticity and sense of place, Goldschmidt's current crop of wines sing of their homeland while also delivering fabulous drinkability and genuine value.

The winery has just what is required to make pure, expressive wines—including some large format oak (a rarity in Chianti). The wines are fashioned from ripe, juicy Sangiovese with a rare patience and a kind of pastoral serenity. They are complemented by some of Italy’s finest Pecorino, made from the estate’s own Sardinian sheep. In fact, in Italy, Corzano is as well known for its cheese as it is for its wine and supplies many top Italian restaurants. On a recent visit we asked Aljoscha if we could ship some of his cheese to the Australian market. “I’m so sorry,” he said in his gentle voice. “We do not have any to sell. We do not want to grow and if we started exporting, we would have to cut our allocations to our oldest clients which would not be fair.” It’s hard to argue with such integrity no matter how delicious the product. 

Corzano also produces one of Tuscany’s most intense small batch olive oils. In fact, everything the Corzano e Paterno farm produces tastes fresh and delicious, and everyone who works at the estate exudes both a sense of purpose and a down to earth, unpretentious, bucolic warmth which comes through in the products of this communal style farm. Visiting there and staying on the farm, you get the impression that produce is solely being created to cater for the collection of craftsmen, artists and artisans who inhabit the Corzano estate, such is the non-commercial atmosphere. Somehow this makes the wines taste even better.

Currently Available

Corzano e Paterno Toscana Rosso Il Corzanello 2021

Corzano e Paterno Toscana Rosso Il Corzanello 2021

This is Aljoscha Goldschmidt's lo-fi entry-level red—a Toscana Rosso (IGT) made from a blend of Sangiovese (including fruit from the estate’s younger vines), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and named after the medieval fortified farmhouse on Corzano's property. Hand-harvested fruit was given a pre-fermentation cold soak for nine days before the wine fermented naturally in stainless steel. Each variety was vinified separately before blending. 

The nose grabs you with divine Morello cherry sweetness, bay leaf and sage, before flowing onto a crunchy, bright and cherry-fruited palate bound by food-friendly Tuscan tannins and brambly, sappy acidity. A lip-smacking rosso that screams for barbequed chicken or a rich, silky ragù.

Corzano e Paterno Toscana Rosso Il Corzanello 2021
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 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

“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.”  Stephen Tanzer



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Winemaker: Aljoscha Goldschmidt



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