The estate of Cusona is mentioned in historical documents as early as 994, at which time it was the property of the Lords of Bibbiano. Situated beside the river Elsa, between S. Gimignano and Poggibonsi - Poggio Binizi - it constituted an important communications link along the Francigena road for travellers passing between Rome and France. On one of its farms the traces can still be seen of an ancient manor belonging to the Order Gerosolimitano of St. John.
The first real-estate register of Fiorence, dated 1427, shows that Cusona villa belonged to Bards family: house with a tower for residence, vegetable garden and grape arbor: "produces per year about three barrels of white wine", Vernaccia grapes. Since 1503 it was the first istallation of Vernaccia vineyard, By Angelo Bardi. It shows from documents that Vernaccia grape was intensely cultivated in the S. Gimignanos territory in a special way by Bards family of Cusona.
In 1524 Count Girolamo Guicciardini married Costanza bardi, receiving as her dowry the estate of Cusona: "beautiful dwelling, beautiful possession" numbering eleven farms. Since then the Cusona estate has always belonges to Guicciardini Counts. A fine Vernaccia vineyard was planted by Girolamo on the Poggio farm at the expense of more than 190 ducats. In 1750 Francesco Guicciardini began a grandiose transformation diverting the river Elsa through a canal 500 meters long, reciaiming the plain, restoring the villa and surrounding it with vinayard after vinayard formed like herring-bones or contouring the hillsides. Cusona was then a frequent stop of the grand duke Ferdinando III of Lorena.
In 1850 the large cellar was built, with underground galleries still worth while to be visited: and the estate reached its full grandeur. Cosimo Ridolfi, the famous state man, write in his short poem "La villegiatura di Cusona" (Florence 1822) like this: "Sacred to studies of peace and friendship rich of Baccus gifts and of Vertunnos forgotten the noise of city in you is wise to cheer fall", But it was Francesco Guicciardini, Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs from 1906 to 1909 who completed the work, by turning Cusona into a model farm with a national reputation.
He was among the first to begin the process of reconstruction of the vineas using American roots to cpmbat Philoxera disease. At present the realisation of the new plantations of Vernaccia and Chianti vineyards, carry on and increase the tradition, never interrupted, of wines which are the pride of the Cusonas estate.
The history of the Guicciardini family, like that of the Strozzi family, figures large in the story of the Italian Ronaissance, in the time of the Medicis and the Great Popos. Francesco Guicciardini is considered as one of the founders of moderns historiography. The Strozzi family rivals of the Medicis - numbers among his members statesman, writes, bankers and famous soldiers like Philippo Strozzi. One of the most imposing palaces of the Rennaissance period is the Strozzi palace in Florence.
In additional to their public life, the two great landowning families restained close links with the soil. They were rightly proud of their own wines which made famous the name of Chianti and Vernaccia, celebrated by the Popes and sung by the poets of the time. Amid their extensive domaing near Florence, in the heart of the Chianti region, the hillsides of San Gimignano, with their favoured position are an ideal place where the exceptional quality of the soil together with the Tuscan sun, give the wine made there a quite distintive taste. The historical estate of Cusona belongs to both families, who since the twelfth century had frequent blood-ties. The Fattoria di Cusona is situated between Florence and Siena in the historic triangle that boasts perkaps the richest history of Tuscan civilization. It lies a few kilomaters from San Gimignano, the celebrated medieval town.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Selvascura
Selvascura comes from a holding with one of the best exposures on the estate, situated on a magnificent hillside where merlot wines were replanted several years ago to study their behaviour on our land. We have seen that they adapt well to both the land and climate; the grapes are of extremely high quality. We trerefore decided to make wine from these grapes separately and began to produce it form the 1996 grape-harvest onwards. Selvascura is classified as I.G.T. Toscano; it is 90% merlot grapes and 10% Tuscan colorino grapes. Vinification takes place – like all high-quality red wine – in small containers with lengthy steeping of the skins; after drawing off, fermentation follows in barriques for about 8 months. After bottling, a further period of maturation takes place in glass for about 4:5 months in the estates historical underground cellars, at the best temperature and level of humidity.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Vernaccia di San Gimignano
This is the typical and exclusive white wine of San Gimignano; though now protected by a DOC Vernaccia di San Gimignano is in the process of becoming DOCG. This derives solely from Vernaccia grapes grown on more than 35 hectares on the Fattoria di Cusona. The estates modern cellars permit vinification under ideal conditions, the juice is clarified after soft crushing and separation from the grapeskins and then fermented slowly at low temperatures (about 18°C, or 64° F) to maintain the original flavors and aromas. The wine is conserved esclusively in stainless steel tanks before being bottled and fined for several months before release.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Vernaccia di San Gimignano San Biagio
This vernaccia di san Gimignano DOC comes grapes selected in a special vineyard of the Cusona estate: San Biagio, whose position and soli characteristics account for excellent quality. Grapes are picked at the peak of ripeness. Vinification takes place after what is known as "criomacerazione", a process under which the destemmed grapes and their juice are left together at low temperature (5-7° C or 41-45° F) for 15 to 20 hours in a way that allows extraction of aromas from the skins. Then the grapes are softly crushed and the must is left to ferment in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at constant temperatures of 16-18°C (61-64°F). This process brings out the typical flavors of Vernaccia while giving the wine intense fruity aromas and firmer structore. Before being sold the wine is seasoned in bottles for about three months.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Vernaccia di San Gimignano Titolato
This is produced in limited quantity from grapes grown in selected vineyards designated for production of Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG entitled to the name "Titolato". The trademark directly controlled by a consortium of producers, is granted to wines coming from vineyards where methods of planting, vine training and haversting are specified. Wines vinified under prescribed procedures are subject to tasting and laboratory analysis to assure that they meet high standards of quality. The Vernaccia di San Gimignano "Titolato" is a wine of high quality and pronounced personality. It is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 16-18°C (61-64°F) after what is known as criomacerazione, a process under which the destemmed grapes and their juice are left togrther at low temperature (5-7°C or 41-42°F) for about 20 hours. The wine is then seasoned in bottle for about four months before being sold.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Perlato
On the scenic hills of Fattoria di Cusona, sloping toward San Gimignano, whose imposing towers dominate the landscope, are planted various noble vines for white wine along with the native Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The grapes have been combined in this white wine of great character and prestige. The expert vinification includes a brief period of criomacerazione, in which grapes and juice are left togrther at low temperature. Then the wine is fermented in small barrels or barriques, of prized French oak, where it remains for 5-6 months. The result is a wine of pronounced personality, with intense but well balanced aromas. It should be served in certain moments as a wine of meditation.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva
This Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG reserve is produced only from the best vintages, using Vernaccia grapes selected for a high degree of natural sugar. The process known as criomacerazione is used, under which the destemmed grapes and their juice are left together at low temperature (5-7° C or 41-45° F) for about 20 hours to extract aromas from the skin. Then the grapes are softly crushed and the must is first fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and then transferred to barrique of prized French oak where it completes the fermentation process. The wood aging is prolonged until June of the following year. Before being sold the wine is seasoned in bottles for about six months. The wine obtained through this process develops harmoniously complex aromas and rich and persistent flavors. Designed for lovers of vigorous whites, the wine is suited to long aging.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Chianti Villa Cusona
The guaranteed DOCG. Chianti produced by the Fattoria Cusona can boast a tradition which goes back for centuries. In the vineyards of the San Gimignano hills where this wine is produced, the natural fertility and advantageous location join with meticulous selection of the grapes, respect for traditional methods of winemaking and use of the most advanced tecnologies. In the cellars (built in 1850) the wine is aged in oak barrels at a constant temperature which anables the preservation and enhancement of the typical characteristics of this wine, and in particular its liveliness. This wine also ages well. The grapese, used according to traditional proportions, updated by recent legislation, are 80% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Trebbiano an 5% mixed.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Chianti Titolato
This is produced in limited quantity from grapes grown in selected vineyards designated for production of Chianti entitled to the name "Titolato". The trademark, directly controlled by a consortium of producers, is granted to wines coming from vineyards where methods of planting, vine training and harvesting are specified. Wines vinified under prescribed procedures are subject to tasting and laboratory analysis to assure that they meet high standards of quality. Chianti DOCG "Titolato" is a wine of prestige and class, strongly personalized in the estates range of products.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Sodole
This prestigious red "table wine", noted for high class, is made entirely from Sangiovese grapes carefully selected in the estates old vineyards. Yields there are very low, producing only about 40 hectoliters of wine per hectare, from vines of ancient origin with few bunches of small grapes that favor quality. The wine is fermented in small containers where it is kept in long contact (about 10 to 12 days) with the grape skins while the cap is pumped over and submerged daily. Immediately after the alcoholic fermentation takes place until the malic acid is exhausted. Then the wine goes into 225 - liter barriques of select French oak, where it remains for about 10 months while acquiring the desired degree of maturity, an intense bouquet and ample body that enables it to age for many years. After bottling, it is stored in the estates underground cellars where ideal natural temperatures and humidity remain constant during the year before the wine is sold. Sodole is a wine to be meditated over.
Guicciardini Strozzi Winery Vin Santo
Vin Santo is produced in limited quantities according to a very old traditional method. After careful selection, malvasia, trebbiano and san colombano grapes are left to wither on rush matting until the following Junuary. The grapes are then pressed and the must is stored in small kegs where it is left to age for at least five years. The wine is usually drawn from the kegs during Easter and this is probably the origin of its name - Holy Wine. Once bottled, the Vin Santo can continue to age for many years and will benefit in richness and fragance. Its flavor is more or less sweet depending on the number of years and the kegs in which it has aged.