The first surviving records of Tenuta Casenuove date back to the 17th century, but it is likely to be much older
It is a scene that has changed little since Piero Lorenzetti’s 14th-century depiction of the Tuscan countryside in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico. Then as now, this harmony is rooted in a ceaseless effort to coax the best out of the land, working hand in hand with nature.
Enamoured of its beauty and recognizing its vocation for winemaking excellence, Austruy set about restoring the estate’s buildings, terraces and vineyards, infusing it with his passion for art, and – with the help of a dynamic, young and mostly local team – producing award-winning wines.
Panzano in Chianti is named in the groundbreaking ‘controlled denomination’ decrees emanated by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III, in 1716, as one of the areas of excellence of what, even then, was a wine of international fame.
But Panzano has always been something of a maverick – formally a part of the comune of Greve in Chianti, yet by nature proudly independent.
Tenuta Casenuove occupies a favoured location within the district, a 120-acre swathe of prime Panzano in Chianti winemaking territory high above the Pesa river at an altitude that varies from 370 to 490 metres. Its elevation, aspect, healthy diurnal temperature range and galestro-rich soils provide the ideal conditions for wines of great elegance and longevity.
Among Philippe Austruy’s very first acts after his acquisition of this storied Panzano in Chianti estate was the appointment of experienced Florentine agronomist Alessandro Fonseca as winery director.
Fonseca immediately set about assembling a team of up-and-coming young winemaking talents, among them enologist Cosimo Casini, who directs all our work in the vineyards, and cellar master Maria Sole Zoli.
Both returned here to their native Tuscany after formative experiences in other Italian and international winemaking areas, and both are committed to the sustainable methods that are a cornerstone of everything that Tenuta Casenuove and Vignobles Austruy represent.
Phillipe Austruy is a French healthcare entrepreneur, art collector and wine lover. He had long dreamed of owning a wine estate, but at the same time was looking for a challenge.
Both came along in 2001 when he acquired the Commanderie de Peyrassol, a historic Provencal winery that was in need of new energy and new ideas. The same impulse – to restore a wine estate’s former glories and push it to even greater heights – guided Austruy’s addition of three more European wineries to the Vignobles Austruy portfolio: Château Malecasse (2012) in the Haut-Medoc, Quinta do Côrte (2013) in Portugal’s Douro region – and Tenuta Casenuove (2015).
In all four companion sites, Austruy not only set out to make great wines, but to safeguard and restore the landscape and the property’s traditional architecture, and to work with contemporary artists and galleries to insert sensitive site-specific works of art into the landscape.