Tenuta di Capezzana, in Carmignano outside Florence, has been producing wine and olive oil since 804 A.D., as evidenced by a parchment found in the state archives. Its grand villa, built for one of the Medici daughters as a wedding gift, is surrounded by a breathtaking landscape of silver-green olive trees, tall cypress trees, and rows of immaculate vineyards. Since the turn of last century, when Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi arrived from Venice and bought the estate, it has flourished under the assiduous care of the Contini Bonacossi family.
At Tenuta di Capezzana the olives have always been picked when they are still green. The higher altitude of the Carmignano hills, which overlook the valley stretching from Pistoia to Florence, grants the oil its classic Tuscan flavor profile—delicate olive fruit with a peppery finish. Bottling is still done entirely by hand, four bottles at a time.
The Contini Bonacossi family arrived in Carmignano from Venice at the turn of last century, when Count Ugo's father, Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi, bought the estate. Count Alessandro was one of the first wine producers in the region to label his wine with a vintage date on the label. Today, Capezzana is one of the few estates in Italy that has wines in its cellar with vintages dating before the great wars.
Tenuta di Capezzana is more than an estate; it's a real home. We will always remember our visits with the gentlemanly and iconic Count Ugo Contini Bonacossi and his wife, the generous Countess Lisa (hailed as "Italy's best home cook" by Marcella Hazan)—and stories we shared over bountiful meals with copious amounts of Villa di Capezzana wines. The secret to Lisa's delicious menus of simple, seasonal dishes was her abundant use of Capezzana olive oil (make her delicious Torta di Capezzana, which you can also serve for breakfast). Count Ugo and Countess Lisa will forever be in our hearts. Happily, the estate remains a home base to their children and grandchildren.
Rolando raves: “Tasting Capezzana's oil is like walking barefoot in the grass in the early morning . . . you feel the earthiness and smell the delicate aroma of herbs—parsley! arugula!—coming up off the warming ground. It brings me right back to Tuscany!”