Peter Sagal, of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, will often say to the Not My Job guest, “What a pleasure to talk to you.” That’s what I would say about a recent tour and wine-tasting at Castello Pomino—what a pleasure!
Castello Pomino is one of the Frescobaldi vineyards and as we learned, the one highest in elevation. Driving there took us through a forest that eventually opened into hillsides covered with grapevines. It came into the Frescobaldi family via Leonia degli Albizi, who married Angelo Frescobaldi. The branch of the Albizi family from which she was descended was banished from Florence in the 14th century and made their way to France. They were eventually called back to Italy in the 19th century by the last surviving member of the Italian branch of the family. When he died, the estate passed to her family.
As our tour went on, I developed a ‘girl crush’ on Leonia. In addition to introducing, with her brother Vittorio, French varieties of grapes, she built the first gravity-fed cellars in Italy (we saw the building plan!). A recent addition to Pomino’s wines—the first sparkling wine produced in Tuscany—was named Leonia in her honor.
Our guide was excellent and made the history of Pomino come alive. Tasting the wines was even more interesting than usual, as they seemed so much a part of the stories we heard.
The French wine press.
The top floor of the gravity-fed cellar.
I didn’t know that Castello Pomino makes a Vin Santo. These are the drying racks for the grapes used.
The chapel didn’t look that interesting from outside, but the ceiling was a pleasant surprise!
The rose-gold of Benefizio—a Tuscan chardonnay. Didn’t know there was such a thing!
The coat of arms combines that of the Frescobaldi family on the left and the Albizi family on the right.
Images © Melissa Corcoran.