The Capezzana estate, 24 kilometres north west of Florence, is owned by the Contini Bonacossi family. The younger generation is now firmly in charge of the estate's 100 hectares of vineyard, with daughter Benedetta Contini Bonacossi as winemaker and Francesco Bernabei as consultant winemaker. The wines and the olive oil have an elegance which marks this estate out from the crowd.
The grapes for the Vin Santo are grown on various vineyards on the 104 hectare estate. These vineyards face east, are around 150-200 metres above sea level and have schistous-clay soils. They are currently being converted to organic production.
In 2010 the grapes ripened notably later than in previous years. It was noticed early in the growing season that the grape's growing cycle was going to be longer than normal as berry ripening ('véraison') happened at the end of July, two weeks later than usual. This was due to frequent rainfall in the spring which continued throughout the summer. "It was definitely a vintage that required patience, with many stops and intervals in the growing season. It was unnerving yet exciting", says Vittorio Contini Bonacossi, "And the result? Exceptional wines!"
The grapes were dried on cane mats in a well ventilated loft until January. After pressing, the must fermented very slowly in small oak and chestnut casks for at least four years. The casks are known as 'caratelli' and vary between 50, 70, 100 and 200 litres in capacity. The must underwent successive fermentations and clarifications with natural changes in temperature. Final yields were very low, often only a quarter or a fifth of the original grape weight. After ageing for five years in small chestnut and cherry casks, the wine remained in bottle for at least three months before release.
This Vin Santo is an intense golden yellow colour and displays concentrated perfumes on the nose, which include notes of candied fruit, sweet almonds and fruit cake. Rich and intensely sweet on the palate, it has dried apricot and fig flavours which are balanced by a lovely touch of freshness. The finish is very long and spicy.