Located in the heart of Tuscany, in the small community of Gaiole in Chianti, Riecine takes its place among the finest vineyards in all of Italy and continues to progress as a classic winery. Gary J. Baumann, an American who resides in Milan, is the proprietor of Riecine, which he acquired in 1996 from its original founder, John Dunkley. Church archives from 1112 A.D. provide the earliest know... Read more
Located in the heart of Tuscany, in the small community of Gaiole in Chianti, Riecine takes its place among the finest vineyards in all of Italy and continues to progress as a classic winery. Gary J. Baumann, an American who resides in Milan, is the proprietor of Riecine, which he acquired in 1996 from its original founder, John Dunkley. Church archives from 1112 A.D. provide the earliest known record of the wine farm known as Riecine. Originally owned by a nearby monastery until the 20th century, Riecine is close to excavations of an Etruscan township. It is possible that wine has been produced at Riecine for thousands of years. The founder of Riecine, John Dunkley, an Englishman who became one of the most admired producers of Chianti Classico, and his Italian wife, Palmina, acquired the original 1.5 hectares of land in 1971 from the nearby Badia a Coltibuono. They restored the old stone villa on the land and began reviving and replanting vines. John's first vintage of Chianti Classico, 1973, was released in 1975 to a flourish of praise. He later recalled, "Then it was easy to be among the best producers, but Chianti Classico has moved up the ladder. Today the competition is much tougher."John was respected as one of Chianti's most astute observers, combining the detachment of an outsider with a critical spirit that engendered some legendary quips. He always maintained that Cabernet varieties permitted under DOCG rules for Chianti Classico had no place in the wines of Riecine. As he once put it, "When Baron Philippe de Rothschild [of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild in Bordeaux] plants Sangiovese, I'll switch to Cabernet Sauvignon." Although some things have changed, 100% Sangiovese-based Chianti Classico remains the core of Riecine's production. In quality vintages, Riecine also produces Chianti Classico Riserva and the 'super-Tuscan' wine, La Gioia.John had long maintained that the making of wine represented a financial liability compensated by great personal satisfaction. "It's one of the very few activities left in a complex world of manufacturing and distribution that is totally integrated, where the producer prepares his own land, grows his own raw material, transforms it into a finished product, packages it, markets it and takes care of sales and distribution. The outcome depends wholly on the participants in the activity, and thus it provides a unique sense of fulfillment." John brought a young winemaker, Sean O'Callaghan, into Riecine in 1992, to take on responsibility for the winemaking process. Sean, John and Palmina worked together to continue the Riecine tradition of producing top-quality Chianti Classico and Sangiovese-based wines. Although John and Palmina are now deceased, their inspiration exists today at Riecine. John used to like to sit under the pergola in front of Riecine in the evening and sip a glass of Chianti Classico, while admiring the twilight glow on slopes of olive trees and vineyards. "You know, after all this time here," he said with an air of gratitude, "I still get the same thrill every time I look at the view." Gary and Sean are proud of Riecine's traditions, and they are dedicated to maintaining them. Over the past several years, Riecine wines have advanced in quality to the highest levels and are enjoyed today by wine lovers in all corners of the world. Read less
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Food Pairings for Chianti Classico. Riecine
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