Nestled in a wooded valley between the twin hamlets of Isole and Olena, in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone of Tuscany, the Isole e Olena estate is one of Tuscany’s most beautiful spots. And it’s home to one of the region’s most impressive wines, Cepparello.
The two estates of Isole and Olena were unified in the 1950s when they were bought by the de Marchi family from Piedmont. They’re two historic wine-producing properties, with records for Olena reaching back to the 12th century. Paolo de Marchi took the helm in 1976, and swiftly established it as one of the most dynamic and exciting estates in all of Italy: an honour that still holds true today.
He is an international expert on Sangiovese, and Cepparello, first produced in 1980, is his flagship wine. Back then, it was illegal under appellation rules to create a 100% Sangiovese Chianti, for reasons known only to the authorities themselves. As a result Paolo was forced to bottle the wine under a lesser label, IGT. This makes Cepparello one of the first Super Tuscans.
And he’s also one of the trailblazers for the new top Gran Selezione denomination for Chianti: his two examples are two of the finest wines we’ve tasted this year.