Of the many wine producing regions of Italy, we concentrate principally on two - Tuscany and Piedmont - where arguably the finest wines are made. Tuscany is the home of Sangiovese - which finds its greatest expression in the wines of Montalcino - while Piedmont is the home of Nebbiolo - the grape variety of Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, we have wines from Friuli in the far northeast, close to the border with Slovenia, from the Veneto (particularly famous for the sparkling wines made from Prosecco) and from Umbria, where quality can be very fine, while price remains remarkably reasonable.

Wine production in Italy has undergone an extraordinarily rapid period of change over the last 20 to 30 years. Gone is the obsession, born at least in part from the impoverishment of the post-War years, for producing the maximum possible volume from the vineyards, which resulted in the production of vast quantities of dilute, under-ripe and poorly made wines. The generation of the increasingly affluent decades of the 1970s and 1980s, which has now taken control of family vineyards, has very different ideas. The transparency of the global market, and the competition for the attention of wine drinkers has brought in its wake the realisation that wine, however cheap, will not sell if the quality is not there. Now we have a generation of Italian producers making wines of the highest quality at all levels of price.

Castello di Magione

The Castello di Magione, west of Perugia, dates from around 1150, beginning as a shelter built by the Knights Hospitallers for travellers on the pilgrim routes between Compostella, Rome and Jerusalem.  Defensive fortifications were added later, when the building was enlarged, first in 1367 and then again in 1471, in response to the turbulent nature of central Italian geo-politics in the 14th and 15thcenturies.  The Magione estate today covers 1,325 hectares of agricultural land of which 30 hectares are planted with vines.  Several sections of the estate are covered by a cabreo – a map and inventory of its many constituent parts drawn up in the 19th century – the estate archives hold an extraordinary collection of these remarkably detailed documents.  Where appropriate, the Magione wines take their names from their historic cabreo.  The vineyards are planted on the slopes facing towards Lake Trasimeno; the microclimate here is especially good, with the influence of the lake tempering the heat of the Umbrian summer.  The estate has benefitted from the construction of a fabulous, genuinely state-of-the-art (an otherwise much over-used phrase) new winery which was opened on 5th September 2009, in time to receive the 2009 harvest.



2018 Rosso Sangiovese, Castello di Magione x 6
 6 Bottles


2011 Vin Santo, Castello di Magione x 6 50cl bottles
 6 50cl Bottles
A blend of Grechetto and Trebbiano (50/50) picked at the end of September and left to dry for 5 to 6 months on rush matting in the lofts of the Castello prior to pressing. Rich amber colour. Honeyed raisin scents. Full and incredibly complex on the palate. Tremendous balance and great length. Extraordinary. 

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