An artistic view on Nittardi


Melanie Jappy

From Tintaretto to Titian, Bernini to Botticelli, Italy has given the world some of the most famous artists of all time. So it is no surprise when Joe Fattorini challenges Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys to find a wine that captures the spirit of Italy’s artistic heritage.

Joe sends Matt and Matt to the heart of the Chianti region of Tuscany to meet his friends the Canali-Femerts on the Nittardi Estate. Once home to Michelangelo, the Estate’s current owners are as passionate about art as they are about wine. Peter Femert owns art galleries in Germany and his wife, historian Stefania Canali, shares his enthusiasm. Son Leon has also joined the family business having studied wine-making around the world.

Today Nittardi is home to a collection of modern art and sculpture, but it is to the 16th century that we look to see the roots of this connection. In 1569, while Nittardi’s owner Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel in Rome, he sent a message to his nephew asking for wine from Nittardi for Pope Julius II. Even today the first bottles of one of Nittardi’s wines, Nectar Dei, are sent to the Pope.

Evoking the memory of Michelangelo and his many benefactors, the Canali-Femerts have for several years commissioned an artist to create a label and wrapping paper for their Casanuova di Nittardi. This wine is a Chianti Classico made from grapes grown in the single vineyard; the Vigna Doghessa. As a 100% Sangiovese wine it is known for its minerality and fresh fruits and is the epitome of a fine Chianti Classico.

The artists that have created work for the wine include world-famous artists such as, Horst Jannsen, Yoko Ono and Gunther Grass. So it was surprising when Stefania agreed to let Matthew and Matthew have a stab at creating their own labels.

Whilst prolific by the end of the drawing session,  Matt and Matt’s attempts may not be regarded as amongst the finest of the works to have adorned this fine wine. But Matthew and Matthew did not shame The Wine Show totally. Having each chosen their best piece of work, it’s up to Joe to choose the one that he feels best fulfilled the brief. Who wins? Wait and see…

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