The famous noble family in the Tuscany has been practicing viticulture since 1141, making it one of the oldest wineries in the world. Since that time, this family had extensive land ownership in the area between Siena and Florence. This prompted the Republic of Florence to exclude the family from public office. But this did not prevent the family from having great political influence for centuries. Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880) inherited in 1830 the neglected family estate Castello di Brolio in the heart of the area Chianti Classico and began to reform viticulture on a grand scale. He toured France and Germany, where he studied viticulture and imported numerous grape varieties. In 1861 he became prime minister of the new kingdom of Italy and had the nickname "Iron Baron".
After numerous attempts he created around 1850 a general prescription for the Chianti (look there). In a letter from 1872 Ricasoli summed up the result of his decades of experiments. The modern Chianti recipe has changed significantly since then. An even more significant influence on the quality of Chianti was the efforts of the Baron to reorganize the production and marketing of Chianti wines in terms of a division of activities. The concept was based on the assumption that the majority of the winemakers were to deliver grapes to large trading companies and wineries, which would then carry out their vinification, development and marketing activities. For this reason, he founded the trading company Ricasoli, which then became the leading Chianti manufacturer in the next hundred years.
In the 1960s, Ricasoli was some years under control of the company Seagram. Although this led to a huge increase in production, it had a negative impact on quality. In 1990, Ricasoli was named Australian multi Hardy bought, but only three years later took his fate back into his own hands. Since 1993, Francesco Ricasoli manages the estate with the headquarters "Castello di Brolio". Of about 1,200 hectares of land, which are almost entirely in the municipality Gaiole, are 250 hectares of vineyards. In 1994, the complete renewal of grapevines began, today the density is 5,500 to 6,200 vines per hectare. On more than 150 acres will be Sangiovese cultured. The rest is with the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon. Canaiolo Nero. Chardonnay, Malvasia del Chianti ( Malvasia Bianca Lunga ) and Merlot planted.
The main wine of the house is "Sangiovese Chianti-Classico Castello di Brolio", aged 18 months in Barrique is expanded. Other premium wines are "Chianti Classico Brolio" and "Riserva Rocca Guicciarda". The red wine "Casalferro" is blended from Sangiovese and Merlot. The white wine Torricella from Chardonnay is aged for eight months in oak barrels and the "Brolio Vinsanto" (from Malvasia del Chianti) is still pressed according to ancient tradition. A young Chianti called "San Ripolo" is marketed under the label "Barone Ricasoli". The "Castello di Cacchiano" with about 25 hectares of vineyards is owned by Giovanni Ricasoli-Firidolfi (cousin of the Brolio branch). The Castello has been owned by the family since 1150. Here is a Chianti Classico "Castello di Cacchiano" (90% Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia Nero, Colorino and Merlot) produced.