The latest pieces from the 'very interesting' world of Celino's
Rocca di Castagnioli
5th march 2019 | CLAUDIO CELINO
There are many parts of my job that I love but one of my favourites has to be traveling to Italy to seek out high quality Italian wines for my Delicatessen and Trattoria. I consider these trips to be vital since, as well as getting the opportunity to gain knowledge and try the wines, I can meet the producer face to face. I am very proud of our sourcing policy – we aim to buy from small producers with similar ethos as Celino’s, family owned and run with an emphasis on high quality produce.
My trip to Castello Di San Sano, in October 2018, was my fifth wine tasting trip and I’d love to share some of the highlights with you. Heading high into the hills of Gaiollo in Chanti on a dark night, I remember worrying whether, on the next hairpin bend, we would encounter another wild boar “Chengiale”. Thankfully the driver seemed to know exactly where they hang out, although his Ferrari jacket wasn’t inspiring confidence as I gripped onto the door handle to steady myself again. In the distance a medieval fortress appeared and, it was with some relief, that I recognised the crest of the “Tempi Family”, nobles living in Rocca dating back to the seventeen hundreds - their crest now represents the San Sano winery.
The next morning I awoke to the sound of a cockerel and opened the bedroom curtains to reveal a spectacular view - a light mist had formed over the vine yard as the sun started to cut through the mountain, you would swear that this vista was an oil painting. After breakfast, we were given a tour of Rocca. The history surrounding the fortress is amazing – we all breathed in as we walked, single file, through extremely narrow brick corridors exiting to the perimeter walls. These corridors were constructed to ensure the security and preservation of Rocca during the bloody battle of Montaperti between Florence and Sienna in 1260.
The black cockerel stamp of approval that you see on a bottle of Chianti was visible everywhere I turned on the tour. The origin of the cockerel stamp is really interesting – during a medieval battle over a boundary line between the two cities of Sienna and Florence, both cities selected a cockerel (Sienna a white one and Florence a black one), the cockerels were released at the same time to race to the opposing city and where they met determined the boundary line.
The Chianti Riserva “Guarnellotto” offered by the San Sano estate is without a doubt one of my favourites. Grapes are harvested in late October, 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo, from the Poggio A’Frati single vineyard. The grapes are crushed without stalks then fermented, first in steel vats and then matured for at least 15 months in oak casks. The wine is then blended in stainless steel vats and bottled for at least 12 months.
The wine tasting evenings that we host in Celino’s give us the opportunity to share these wines with our customers. Very relaxed affairs, these wine tasting evenings allow our customers to get an insight into the wines by hearing from representatives of the wine producer and tasting the wines which our Head Chef carefully pairs with mouth-watering Celino’s dishes.
Celino’s Castello di San Sano wine tasting night March 5th Alexandra Parade and March 6th Partick
Chanti Riserva “Guarnellotto” 2010