Where once the Marquis di Venuti stayed, today connoisseurs can spend fantastic holidays. We are talking about the dreamlike Palazzo Villa Loggio. Sara and Hans Ensing have fulfilled their dream of a villa in Tuscany in this perfectly restored baroque palace. Cypress trees and rosemary bushes line the long driveway to their proud estate. The historic guesthouse sits amid rolling hills that stretch between Montepulciano and Cortona. The south Tuscan DOC Cortona is known for excellent Syrah. However, the two newcomers are also attracting attention with other wines.
One thing right away: I have hardly ever seen a more beautiful holiday home in Tuscany. Here you can live the dream of a 'house in Tuscany' for a few days. Vineyards included. The very large rooms in the tastefully renovated building inspire, the house comes without frills, but offers a lot of very nice ambience. Art lovers will find interesting paintings and contemporary sculptures in the corridors and halls. In the spacious garden, you can take a walk and relax, listen to the sound of the wind under the big trees or lie down in the pool. The view stretches from southern Tuscany to neighbouring Umbria, the Colli Senesi and Monte Amiata greet you in the distance, and at night you can occasionally hear the mysterious calls of owls and porcupines.
The hosts welcome us on one of the many terraces of their historic villa. The already fine fragrance of the Tuscan picture-book landscape is filled with the scents of the aperitif platter that has been laid out: fried wild onions, sage and basil leaves, asparagus mousse and zucchini puree, sheep mascarpone, tasty bruschetti, seafood and garden-fresh vegetables, accompanied by one or two or more (who can resist?) glasses of surprisingly fruity Traminer from their own vineyard. An excellent drop, which stands out considerably from many Tuscan white wines with its pleasant freshness.
Sara and Hans have to have the guests ask them the same question over and over again: How did they come to this dreamlike winery? "I started working with plants at an early age," explains Hans, who was born in Holland, "as a student I worked in a rose nursery. It's a bit like viticulture - you have to cut the plants back regularly and expertly if you want to avoid wild growth!"
"Un vino della Madonna!"
Original comment Reto Vergani about the Cabernet Sauvignon from Villa Loggio
He later worked around the globe in the financial industry. His wife Sara comes from the Harz region in northern Germany. The two met in Rome. She smiles: "From the very beginning, Italy was part of our relationship." The two agree: "We saw the world and travelled a lot. At some point, enough was enough. With Villa Loggio we found the place where we could come to rest. Ideal for a young family that needs a nest." And how does one become a wine producer overnight? "It was a long, difficult process!" recalls Hans. First, they had to familiarize themselves with local customs. Sara Ensing developed a fine sense for dealing with Italian bureaucracy over time. With a twinkle in her eye, she says: "The scariest thing that can happen to you here is an immediate positive report from an office. A sure sign that there's going to be trouble!"
The initial efforts are forgotten. Under the name Villa Loggio they produce remarkable wines on 50 hectares, which we enjoy with pasta with duck stew, grilled sheep chops and vegetables. The enthusiasm increases from bottle to bottle. Example: Cabernet Sauvignon. Reto Vergani's original comment: "Un vino della Madonna!" Villa Loggia has only produced 600 bottles of this - Vergani has exclusively bought the entire production. The 2008 Pinot Noir is also excellent. Is there a magician in the winery? Cellar master Crescenzo remains modest: "Good wine is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar!" His extremely cordial wife Beatrice adds: "The soil around Villa Loggio is made for good wine!
The winery is located about one kilometer from the house. Excellent treasures are stored in the barrels. One can particularly look forward to the 2013 Pinot Noir, and the 2013 Syrah is already convincing with an excellent balsamic, soft body. Villa Loggia has been producing wine as late as since 2005, but it is already causing a sensation. It will be interesting to see what the newcomers will present in the next few years. One thing is certain: The direction they are taking is right. With Villa Loggio, a new star has appeared in the firmament of the wine sky. It has already risen in the tourism sky: As a guest at the winery, you can experience exactly this piece of Tuscany you have always dreamed of. What more could you want?
Text: Daminan Zingg | Image: Flavia Vergani | Source: Vergani Magazine 6