ITALY’S MOST CELEBRATED WINE DYNASTIES
Marchesi Frescobaldi are one of Italy’s most celebrated wine dynasties dating back 700 years and 30 generations. Originating in Florence around the year 1300 they were initially part of the rise of the Florentine banking industry and played an important role in the political and economic life of Florence. Their influence was such that they funded the English Kings Edward I and II and were given the title ‘Treasurers to the English Crown’. This included responsibility for collecting the customs taxes from all English ports.
At home in Florence they were patrons of the arts and commissioned the first bridge to be built across the river Arno – the Santa Trinità Bridge which still stands today as well as the Church of Santa Croce designed by Brunelleschi – the famous architect of the cathedral in Florence. One of the most illustrious Frescobaldi’s was Dino Frescobaldi, a poet who was celebrated for recovering and returning the first cantos of the Divine Comedy to his friend in exile, Dante Alighieri, so he could finish his famous work.
The first Frescobaldi wine estate was their Tenuta di Castiglioni in Val di Pesa, south west of Florence which is recorded in 1300. From the start, the Frescobaldi’s demanded very high standards for their wines so that they were of the best quality. By the early 1400’s Renaissance artists Donatello and Michelozzo Michelozzi were amongst famous clients and in the 1500’s Frescobaldi wines were served at the Papal Courts and at the tables of King Henry VIII of England.
Today the Frescobaldi family own 11 estates in Italy including 10 in Tuscany and distribute their wines in over 65 countries worldwide.