New success in an old land

July 18, 2011 / Food & Wine
Castello Marsigliana, Toscana
Walking along the cobbled pathway in the shadow of the Castello Marsigliana exudes a feeling of timelessness. The solid structure and its accompanying borgo (village) are neat and tidy, encircled by strong walls, swaying palms and stately cypress trees.

A glance to the perfectly-placed rows of vines on the plains below is a reminder that not everything in the Maremma is exactly timeless, though. The vineyards are a more recent addition to the landscape here, for while it’s part of Tuscany, wine-making has not been a traditional occupation for this area. That has changed in recent years, as evidenced by the recent accolades awarded from a popular wine magazine. Marsigliana’s lush red wine, Maremma Toscana Birillo 2007, was awarded 91 points out of 100 by the well-respected publication, an amazing achievement for a recently-released wine. It is a fine accomplishment for an “everyday wine,” which the Corsini family says is a “wine to drink rather than taste.”

But the success of the Birillo doesn’t stop at the gates of the castello; it’s an achievement for the Maremma, in general. Until about fifty years ago, the area was fairly neglected and downtrodden. Agricultural activities centered mainly on cattle and grains, and it was considered a difficult zone to cultivate.

The Corsini is a noble family with a long and illustrious history in Tuscany, with abundant success through the centuries as merchants, ambassadors, bishops and bankers. But agriculture, and in particular wine-making, was not part of the family’s tradition. So it was an unusual and potentially risky choice when Duccio Corsini decided to plant vines in the Maremma. Today, Marsigliana is flourishing with twenty hectares of very carefully tended vineyards. Other wineries have followed, so the Maremma is now emerging as a wine region in its own right.

By taking a natural approach to wine making, the Corsini have created not just an excellent wine but a new endeavor in an old land.

Katharina Alles-Trauttmansdorff

by Katharina Alles-Trauttmansdorff

Founder of Trust and Travel (specialists in holiday rentals of historical Estates in Italy). At her blog, Come Inside the Villa, you can get more inside glimpses of the people, lifestyle, art, and culture of the estates she represents.

One Response to “New success in an old land”

  1. Toni DeBella


    Its pretty amazing that a family with centuries of history has decided to change directions and create a new industry that not only helps them succeed, but I imagine also the people who live in this region. Very interesting and well written article. Very nice. toni


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