It had been three years since the election of Pope Paul III, when Cosimo de’ Medici became Duke of Florence. That year, AD 1537, an old country parish church, located a short distance from the Montepulciano hill, gave its title to the construction site of the new, extraordinary, Cathedral which was going to be built in the main square of Montepulciano.
The small country church had been called, until then, Pieve di Santa Maria del Serraglio. Since then, the title of Santa Maria passed to the new cathedral church and, where the parish church had been, it remained a ruined and abandoned building, in the middle of the countryside. Only the name survived, which passed from mouth to mouth, in the memory of the commoners: Serraglio.
In the documents of the following centuries, had disappeared every trace of that ancient building that stood at the foot of Mount Totona, on top of which the Etruscans had built the temple of Latona, in the year 2600 BC.
Cities flourished and the countryside was abandoned. There were only peasants and outlaws and no more documents told about Serraglio ruins.
Until the mid-1700s, when the farm was mentioned among the properties of a noble family from Montepulciano, who owned a large part of the area located along the road “that led to the mountain”.
It was in the twentieth century, with the end of sharecropping, that some farmers who had spent their lives working on those lands, obtained the rights to the farm, abandoned by the owners.
In those years, between the 1950s and 1970s, many families reached the area coming from South Italy. In those years the area surrounding the “Via della Montagna” was stained with the blood of honor killings, when one of those families bought the farm for a few pennies and ran it for a few years.
Our story begins a short time later, in 1978, when Roberto and Emanuela signed the purchase contract for the Serraglio farm. At that time, in the estate, there was the main house – the result of a continuous reconstruction, over time, of what had been the country parish church – in addition there were agricultural outbuildings and ruined buildings that housed the animals. It was full of animals. Slowly, over the years, with great effort and suffering, Roberto and Emanuela got the farm back on its feet. They put on the German Shepherds breeding kennel and they restored the outbuildings in ruins, creating habitable buildings. Beautiful, wrapped in the enchantment of a fertile and silent countryside, bathed by the dawn that rises on the Trasimeno Lake and illuminates the land.
In AD 2000 the new vineyard was planted to replace the old, disused vineyard, which had been a source of life for the old farmers in the period of sharecropping. In 2004 we produced our first wine, the first Nobile by Serraglio. Simply: Serraglio. The label was created on the fly, it had to be ready immediately and we chose that black patch with the vertical name that is still the basis of the labels of our Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG today.
2005 was a sensational vintage and our second wine was chosen to make a Riserva. Even today, the Serraglio Riserva 2005 is an extraordinary wine, and one of the best vintages ever. This was followed by the Riserva 2007, incensed at the Grand Tasting de Bordeaux in 2009, by Thierry Desseauve, the Riserva 2011 and, now the Riserva 2017. Many excellent vintages of Nobile were produced too – among which we like to recall 2008, 2010 and 2015, above all others.
And, now, here we are. On a quiet evening in early June, sitting on the terrace, after an excellent dinner, looking towards the vineyard, with the first fireflies that illuminate the darkness of an enchanted place, of a magical land, full of history and tales.
From here begins, every year, a new story, a new birth, a new charm. Our beloved Serraglio wine.
Roberto, Emanuela, Alex and Gabriele