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Introducing Vignamaggio -A Historical Wine Estate in Tuscany

Just south of Florence, in one of the most beautiful areas of Tuscany, lies a historic wine estate in the midst of a decade-long restoration, Vignamaggio. Comprising a farm, vineyards, olive groves, a small hotel, 3 farmhouse villas and launching this summer a historic Borgo, the ultimate Tuscan takeover for a stylish wedding or event

Created by acclaimed French architect and landscape designer Patrice Taravella - who created the spectacular gardens at Babylonstoren and The Newt in Somerset - and his partner Emmanuelle Sebillet, it will soon comprise a farm to table restaurant and a shop selling the estate’s wines and artisan produce. The spectacular luxury hotel will be opening in Spring 2024 in the ancient pink villa which provided setting for the movie, Much Ado About Nothing

Set between forests and streams in the picturesque Chianti hills, Vignamaggio is a historic Tuscan estate with an organic farm and wine cellar that has been in operation for over six centuries. Legend links the estate to both artist Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa herself.

Today, under the careful guidance of co-owners Patrice Taravella - the visionary behind the celebrated gardens at both South Africa’s Babylonstoren and The Newt in Somerset - and his partner, interior designer Emmanuelle Sebillet, Vignamaggio is being transformed for the modern world through a decade-long project marrying its unique heritage with a contemporary approach.

While the estate’s 65 hectares of rolling vines are still tended according to strict controls laid down by the Medici, the ancient cellars which produce the region’s finest Chianti Classico now feature state-of-the-art technology. Il Borgo, a 14th-century villa which lay dormant for three decades, has been entirely restored to create a stylish and impressive event venue. A collection of Tuscan farmhouses across the estate have been meticulously updated to offer the ultimate holiday escape, complete with private pools and jaw-dropping views. For those seeking a taste of village life, La Pensione - Vignamaggio’s guest house in the charming village of Panzano - has been refurbished to create a characterful haven, with two new suites being added in time for the summer season.

In December, the team will launch La Fattoria (‘The Farm’), a 120-seat vineyard view restaurant celebrating the very best of the estate’s own produce. The menu will showcase dishes created using wheat grown in the surrounding landscape, while an onsite farm shop and deli will stock Vignamaggio’s own wines, with visitors able to watch artisans at work curing meats and creating famous Italian cheeses.


Amid elegant gardens lies Il Borgo di Vignamaggio, a lovingly restored 14th century villa, which launches this spring as Tuscany’s most stylish event space, after a six-year project to return it to its former glory. The birthplace of Verrazzano - the first European explorer to discover New York Bay - the villa has been brought back to life after lying dormant for over three decades. Its interiors, created by Emmanuelle, celebrate the finest in local and traditional craftsmanship, from handmade cotto tiles to bespoke woodwork. Drawing on surviving examples of centuries’ old furniture in the Uffizi in nearby Florence, Emmanuelle and her team have created pieces which marry historic details with timeless contemporary design. Rooms feature a color palette of soft, natural tones, with accents in ‘verde Lorena’, a soft green associated with the Habsburg-Lorraine, the dynasty that made splendid architectural contributions to the city of Florence, particularly the Boboli Garden.

Set alongside the principal residence on a large private piazza shaded by flowering lime trees are a frescoed chapel, glazed winter garden, and pool house with heated pool, offering panoramic views across the surrounding vineyards. In total Il Borgo comprises 13 suites, alongside a stylish 8-bed dormitory nestled in the rafters. Available on a minimum two-night basis, guests can enjoy access to a 144-seat theater, ballroom, four multi-functional event rooms, an in-house bar and even a private barbershop, making it the perfect choice for weddings, milestone celebrations or even the world’s most fabulous corporate takeover. HOW: Il Borgo is available on a private hire basis, with minimum 2-night hire, from €45,000, including breakfast.


For those seeking a more secluded rural escape, the estate also offers a selection of newly renovated Tuscan farmhouses, available on a self-catering basis. While each farmhouse differs in layout, they are all characterized by their elegant and design-led interiors, and a focus on indoor and outdoor spaces which encourage guests to come together and enjoy the bucolic setting, from panoramic terraces to light-filled lounges. Options include 9-bedroom Il Casolese, with an infinity pool overlooking the olive groves; Il Prato, a collection of three farmhouses situated among oak forests and vineyards, which together sleep 22; and L’Orto, situated on the banks of the peaceful Greve River at the heart of the estate, offering complete privacy for up to 18 guests.


For guests wanting a true taste of village life with a touch of il dolce far niente, La Pensione, a boutique guesthouse in the charming village of Panzano, offers traditional Tuscan hospitality. Each of the 19 colorful guest rooms draws inspiration from one of the love stories of Renaissance writer and poet Bocaccio, while welcoming lounges lead to the hotel’s small library where a collection of classic literature awaits. La Pensione will reopen for the summer season at Easter, with two new suites offering stunning views down to the lavender fringed pool and across to the rolling Tuscan hills.


While Vignamaggio has been trading in wine since the 1400s, their ancient cellars are home to one of Chianti’s most technical production centers. Having been certified organic since 2018, the estate is famed for its Chianti classico, including the Monna Lisa, a Gran Selezione vintage aged for a minimum of 30 months. Guests can purchase a full range of wines and a selection of estate produce at the dedicated Vignamaggio store in the pretty market town Greve in Chianti.


Expected to launch for summer 2024 following a near-decade long project, the Renaissance Villa Vignamaggio at the heart of the estate is to be reborn as a 19-suite hotel, while surrounding landscape will be transformed by Patrice Taravella into a garden worthy of its legend, with breathtaking views over vineyards and olive groves. As with his celebrated work at Babylonstoren and The Newt in Somerset, the Vignamaggio Gran Giardini will become one of the great gardens of Italy, with access open to daytime visitors alongside hotel guests. Elsewhere, a working kitchen garden will once again reconnect this ancient building with the landscape which has sustained it for centuries, while guests will enjoy access to an on-site bar, restaurant, spa and both indoor and outdoor pools.

By ML Staff. Images Courtesy of Vignamaggio


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