Castello dei Rampolla was founded in 1956, however the history of its owners, the Napoli Rampolla family, dates back on this site to 1739. The estate is based in the hilltop town of Panzano, and is famed for the Conca d’Oro (golden basin) – an outstanding natural amphitheatre composed of the village’s hillsides, neighbouring Fontodi. It was under the stewardship of Alceo di Napoli Rampolla in the second half of the twentieth century that Castello dei Rampolla began to make a name for itself. Having been inspired by Mario Incisa della Rocchetta – the legendary creator of Sassicaia – Alceo decided to attempt his own Bordeaux style wine with Cabernet Sauvignon. He recruited the help of world famous consultant oenologist Giacomo Tachis and soon enough Castello dei Rampolla’s ability to incarnate Bordeaux blends in Tuscany pushed the estate into the spotlight. Their wine, Sammarco, became a superstar in the Castello dei Rampolla collection, despite criticism from Chianti Classico traditionalists in the region.
Alceo’s death in 1991 meant that the estate passed onto his children, Luca and Maurzia di Napoli. The siblings have continued their father’s revolutionary work, transforming the estate with biodynamic farming practices, removal of chemical treatments in the vines as well as manual harvests. Alceo’s children have also dedicated a wine in his honour – named ‘d’Aleco’. The grapes come from a single vineyard at an altitude of 1,140ft producing a wine which has eclipsed the Sammarco. Production at Castello dei Rampolla remains small, ranging from 8,000 to 25,000 bottles per year depending on the vintage. However, for those lucky enough to sample them, the Castello dei Rampolla wines live up to their bold reputation and are lauded for their graceful ageing abilities.