“Next to pharmaceuticals, wine is the best drug.” Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini
In Italy, a “Borgo” is sort of an equal to an American Borough. It is actually a hamlet, almost a new city, set outside the gates or the walls of an older city. It has its own church, town center, post office and residences. Borgo Scopeto is just such a place, situated near the city of Siena in the Chianti region of Italy. This winery began producing wines for public sale in the 1990’s and is different from most others due to its ownership. It is owned by two women. A very interesting story here.
When Elisabetta Gnudi met Paolo Angelini, his family owned the largest pharmaceutical company in Italy. They married, and Elisabetta dedicated herself to the arts, helping to manage a production house dedicated to the cinema and theater. When Paolo died prematurely, Elisabetta became a member of the board of Directors of the company. Then in 1998, she decided to sell her stake in that company and pursue what became her passion and enrolled in classes in oenology and agriculture. From there, her winery was born.
By contrast, her daughter Alessandra exhibited much different interests. After earning her undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at La Sapienza University her career took a turn and she was involved in designing Formula 1 race cars and then for a time designing airplane engines for Rolls Royce North America. It was in 2017 that mother and daughter joined forces in the winemaking and hospitality industry making this a major, worldwide company owned by females. (Girls ROCK!)
Borgo Scopeto is an established winery dating back to the 1990’s, as I said earlier. Known for its quality wines, Elisabetta and winemaker Massimo Bracalente are totally involved in every stage of production. Chianti Classico is located in Tuscany, bordered by Florence, Firenze, to the north and Siena in the south. Borgo Scopeto is located in the southernmost part of the region. It is here that some of the largest limestone deposits are found, so the soil is rich and when you put that together with ideal grape-growing conditions, this region grows some of the richest wines in the world.
I enjoyed this wine with both pork and beef, and it held up very well. In color, it is a little lighter in color than some other chiantis I have had, but the flavor is second to none. Due to its richness, the taste lingers on the palate just long enough and beckons another forkful of food, almost daring it to push it aside. In the tradition of a good chianti, it is made with 90% Sangiovese grapes, with the balance made up of merlot and colorino. Aged in casks for one solid year and then in the bottle for another five months this process can truly expect only a high quality product. The flavor is very intense, a pleasure on the palate, dry, well balanced and most elegant with a velvety feel. While the bouquet is also bold, don’t let the sweetness fool you. You will get the sense of dark chocolate and ripe cherries. This is a bone dry wine that is certain to please if your tastes go that way. Pair it, as I did, with pork or with rich soups and hard, well-aged cheeses. In my view, wine and cheese is the ultimate snack and this will raise your game a little. But to do it justice, make sure the cheese is aged well, not in plastic. Well aged cheese has been aging in air, in a controlled environment, not in plastic. So what I am saying is, be a little particular, fuss a little and you will be well rewarded for your efforts.
As I stated in the beginning, this winery is owned by very well educated, dedicated women. It is truly a family business that is run with only one thing in mind, to produce a wine this year that is better than what was produced last year. That phrase in itself shows a commitment to a quality product. But as an aside, if you are looking for a romantic getaway, there are several rooms on the estate available for tourists. And since it is in the province of Tuscany, you are guaranteed beautiful scenery, a sunrise and sunset beyond compare and most common hotel amenities. This is resort living, with history only about five miles away and world class restaurants both nearby and on the premises. I guess this would be a good way to see what Borgo life is really like.