The first person to understand and begin to make the most of the estate’s winegrowing potential was Princess Eleonora Ruspoli Berlingieri, who began bottling Lilliano’s wines in 1958.
The Lilliano Chianti Classico labels bear the coats of arms of the Ruspoli and Berlingieri Families.
The Tenuta di Lilliano estate, co-owned by brothers Giulio and Pietro Ruspoli, has been managed by Giulio Ruspoli since 1989; his nephew Alessandro represents the estate on the international markets.
The Ruspolis are an ancient aristocratic Italian family with a history in Tuscany dating back to the Renaissance and, in Rome, to the 17th century.
In 1708, Pope Clement XI bestowed the principality of Cerveteri upon the Ruspoli family who had committed their own personal regiment in defence of the papal state.
Lilliano’s current owners still live in the historical Ruspoli Palace in the centre of Rome.
40 hectares, mostly cultivated with Sangiovese, with a small amount of other autochthonous and international grape varieties.
The estate comprises three vineyards of the very highest level:
- “Le Piagge”, Sangiovese, exposed south, at an altitude of approximately 300 m above sea level.
- “Casina Sopra Strada”, Sangiovese and Colorino, exposed east-southeast, at an altitude of approximately 300 m above sea level.
- “Vigna Catena”, Merlot with south-southwest exposure, at an altitude of approximately 280 m above sea level.
In the 1950s, Giulio Gambelli, Sangiovese guru and one of the great interpreters of Tuscany’s grapes, joined Eleonora Ruspoli Berlingieri in making and bottling the first vintage of Chianti Classico Lilliano, in 1958.
Nowadays, agronomist Stefano Porcinai is responsible for looking after the estate’s vineyards, while prize-winning oenologist Lorenzo Landi takes care of and selects the wines.
There are two cellars at Lilliano. The ageing cellar, under the villa which is part of the historical complex of Lilliano, where Chianti Classico Riserva matures in large oak barrels, the Gran Selezione in tonneaux and the Super Tuscans in barriques.
The storage and winemaking cellar, built in 1978, contains glazed concrete tanks with an individual capacity of 145/195 Hl, totalling 6000 Hl, and a series of steel containers with a capacity of approximately 2000 Hl.
Temperature-controlled fermentation and maceration are completed in concrete tanks in about 20 days. The vintage Chianti Classico then spends 12 months ageing.
Within the variegated panorama of Chianti Classico, Lilliano possesses intermediate and balanced microclimatic characteristics, with relatively high summer temperatures and sufficient but not excessive rainfall.
Most of the soil on the estate is “Alberese” marly limestone, rich in heavy stone. Consequently, it is capable of delaying and slowing down the ripening of the grapes, and this preserves their acidity and aromatic freshness.
The Sangiovese grown on the estate is the natural result of the combination of these particular microclimatic and geological characteristics. Relatively high temperatures and the clayey component in the soil convey potency and concentration, while lime and also, but to a lesser extent, clay determine its freshness, both in terms of aroma, with notes of violet and fresh cherry, and flavour, with a considerable but well integrated acidity.
These characteristics convey lasting elegance and longevity to the wine, which is capable of assuming that evolutionary reduction in the bottle that is expressed in mineral olfactory sensations.
Direct Sale and Tours
It is possible to taste and purchase Lilliano’s wines directly from the estate shop, and to organise group tastings, outdoors or in the ageing cellar.
From Monday to Friday 8:00 – 12:30 and 13:30 – 17:30
Saturday 9:30-12:00 and 14:30 – 17:30
Ph. +39 0577-743070