Fabrizio Pratesi

Fabrizio Pratesi
Carmignano, Italy

Thursday, March 7th at the Embassy & Winemaker Dinner Series

The Pratesi family has been producing wine in the Carmignano for five generations. In fact, Pietro Pratesi bought the property in 1875 Lolocco in the heart of Carmignano where they produced even then wine and oil. And in Lolocco the Pratesi cellar produces the best wine in the vineyards planted at high density. Carmignano is located in the heart of Tuscany and even Medici recognized in this small town the production of high quality wine. In fact, Cosimo III de ‘Medici in 1716 with an announcement ‘’ Bando ‘’ delimited four areas dedicated to the production of quality wine, one of which was Carmignano. 

“Carmignano” wine is one of the oldest wines in Italy. The production of Carmignano goes back to the Etruscan period. Earthenware wine vases were found in Etruscan tombs on Monte Albano. Other documentation can be found in the state archives in Florence. A rental contract signed in 804 shows how in Capezzana ( a fraction of Carmignano) a small group of houses with vineyards and olive groves, bordering on the Pratesi property, was producing wine and olive oil of excellent quality. 

The first document to mention Carmignano wine was in 1396. It states that Ser Lapo Mazzei, a well known notary, informs Marco Datini, the famous merchant of Prato,that he had ordered 15 demigians of Carmignano wine, at 16lira.  The Carmignano area was the first D.O.C. to blend Cabernet Sauvignon and San Giovese. Carmignano wine can consider itself the progenitor of all ” Super Tuscan” wines ( great wines achieved by blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with San Giovese )  Ever since 1600, grapes imported from France by the Medici, have been added to the Sangioveto Sauvignon. These grapes are called to this day,” Francesco” grapes because of their French origin. 

In 1716, Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, recognized the value of Carmignano wine, by declaring the following 4 areas, Carmignano, Chianti, Pomino and Valdarno di Sopra, protected wine growing areas. An early version of D.O.C. certification!