Ca' di Pesa - From Fortress To Farm
As is often the case with large properties in this part of Tuscany, the building that now forms Ca' di Pesa developed and changed throughout the centuries. Records dating back to the XI century show that it was a part of the ancient Roffiano castle, a military structure tied to the monks of Passignano. At the end of the XII century, Roffiano was the object of an armed dispute between Passignano and the Bishop of Fiesole. In 1261 it was conquered and occupied by the Ghibellines, who destroyed a portion of it - including the top of its tower, and a house.
It soon became evident that, with the resolution of military conflict, it would be more profitable to convert old military structures into working farms which operated under a feudal system and, from the XIV century onwards, under a form of sharecropping which lasted almost until the present day, marking centuries of constant agricutural production serving the city of Florence and beyond.
Ca' di Pesa's fate is very well documented from the XV century onwards, showing its ownership by the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence, with records of lease agreements pointing to the farm's rental by Antonmaria Gherardini - whose daughter Lisa was made famous by the painter Leonardo da Vinci!
The Modern Days at Ca' di Pesa - villa and winery
The villa lasted many years under the same family until, in 1967, it was sold to Giancarlo Innocenti, who formed a community of artists living and working at Ca' di Pesa until it was - again - sold to a Swiss family. It was in 1998 that Jonathan and Jessika Auerbach fell in love with the property, and realized their dream of buying an old villa in Chianti.
Our Italian story began with my very first trip to Italy, where I fell in love with Tuscany and hatched the dream o buying a winery and a small house one day, when I could afford it.
Jessika and I went to Tuscany and stayed in Panzano on our honeymoon. We started looking for the perfect place even in those days. We found Ca' di Pesa and bought it in 1998, and it has been a project that has been the focus of our joint passions throughout these years. Our four daughters grew up at Ca' di Pesa, and we invested much of ourselves in the villa itself, which has a fantastic history, and in the wine and olive oil that we make on the property.
We began making wines ourselves in 2010, with the help of a great local team - Diego Ciurletti and Alessandro Gemini. Our objective was very simple: to produce the best possible Chianti wine that could be made from this vineyard. We would make no compromise, spare no expense in search of making the highest quality wine - one that would reflect the spectacular nature of the terroir of the Conca D'oro. We were helped along the way by the warm and supportive vintners of Panzano, and we strived to make a wine that would bring pride to even that group of highly selective wine producers.
Today, the Auerbachs enjoy and share Ca' di Pesa as a family and with their friends whenever they can - still completely committed to bringing their wines to a level of quality and renown that pay homage to what they feel is one of the most special places in the world.