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Villa Travignoli is situated in the northeastern part of the Chianti production zone, 25 kilometers east of Florence at the meeting of the Arno and Sieve rivers. Travignoli, a name which literally means “Tra Vignoli” (between the vineyards) is located in the middle of Frescobaldi’s Nipozzano Vineyard, in the Chianti Rufina region, where it enjoys a southern exposure, calcareous soils and an altitude ranging from 250 to 400 meters above sea level. Wine was first produced at Travignoli in 500 BC by the Etruscans who referred to the area as the “Nectar of the Gods.”
Count Busi and his family acquired the estate in the 1800’s. They cultivate 70 hectares of the 90-hectare estate, primarily focusing on Sangiovese but also including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. The family sold almost all of its production to private clients in demijohns until Giovanni Busi graduated from the oenology school of Conegliano in 1979. With the expert consultation of Giacomo Tachis, one of the most respected enologists in Italy, Giovanni began bottling the wine of Villa Travignoli.
Giovanni produces wines that are more approachable than most Rufina wines. High acidity and tannins are characteristic of Chianti Rufina; some can be harshly tannic when young and slow to develop into a riserva. Travignoli Rufina shows a subtle fruitiness against a strong tannin-acid backbone even when fairly young. Travignoli Riservas do not lack any of the structure or power one would expect, but they also express a pleasant honesty of fruit.
For the Busi family, tradition and innovation are the key ingredients to crafting superb wine. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks to preserve the freshness of both white and red wines. The 16th century cellar, with its vaulted ceiling, maintains ideal temperature conditions. Wooden barrels are used for aging the riservas. The Vin Santo grapes dry naturally and aged for five years in small kegs. Travignoli’s cellars yield 400,000 bottles per year; the majority being their Chianti Rufina: a soft, fragrant red that is put on the market a year after harvest.