The production of wine throughout history
La Ripa is located on the border between the provinces of Florence and Siena and within the territories of Barberino Val d’Elsa and Castellina in Chianti, in the heart of the Higher Chianti Classico, along the “Strada Provinciale dei Poggi” which runs from San Donato in Poggio to Castellina in Chianti. The farm of approx. 70 hectares has 12 hectares of vineyards of which 11 hectares are on the Register of Chianti Classico DOCG vineyards.
The rest of the property is under olive groves, wheat fields and woodlands.
La Ripa’s terroirs have been closely associated with the production of wine throughout history. Historical documents in the National Archives show evidence of wine production on the estate already in 1457.
In the 15th century La Ripa belonged to Antonio Maria di Noldo Gherardini, father of Monna Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda). He gave part of the property to his daughter as her dowry for her marriage to Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobi del Giocondo.
The main house is already indicated on the maps of the
“Capitani di Parte Guelfa” and is situated in proximity of an ancient “Via di Cresta” (Ridge Road) connecting the Val di Pesa and Florence with the Val d’Elsa and the “Via Francigena”, the principal route used by the crusaders from France and Northern Europe in their travels through Siena and Rome to Apulia, from where they sailed to the Holy Land.
Our family started to modernize the production in 1940 and has been bottling and selling wines and Extra Virgin Olive Oil using this brand since 1968.
As from 2006 all cultivation has been carried out strictly in accordance with the regulations for organic farming and therefore all Fattoria La Ripa’s products are certified as ORGANIC (“biologico”) by Bioagricert. Most (80%) of our production of wines, olive oil and
rappa is exported to the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Russia, Norway, Switzerland and to the countries of the European Union.
The traditional product of the winery is Chianti Classico DOCG Fattoria La Ripa, its Riserva, and the Gran Selezione, made from the best Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes produced in the estate’s south facing vineyards at an altitude of 400 m asl. In addition to Chianti Classico, the winery also produces a dry IGT wine (Supertuscan) called “Santa Brigida”.
This wine, made from our selected Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes, is aged in French oak barriques. Our other wines are “Chianti DOCG Le Terre di Monna Lisa” and the “Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva Le Terre di Monna Lisa” (both made from Sangiovese, blended with a small amount of Canaiolo and other grapes, depending on the wine).
Another traditional product is our Fattoria La Ripa Vinsanto D.O.C. of Chianti Classico, made from partially dried Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes with a small addition of Sangiovese, slowly fermented and aged in sealed oak
barrels for 10 years.
Our Grappa and Grappa Riserva are obtained from distillation of the fresh pomace in a discontinuous steam operated still, guaranteeing fruitiness and softness.
Our Santa Brigida’s low acidity Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from the first cold pressing of olives grown on the property. The fruitiness of this olive oil, together with its low fat content and the absence of chemicals and preservatives, makes it ideal for dressing salads and for all the dishes of the Tuscan cuisine.
Finally, our new Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP (Aceto Balsamico di Modene IGP), is emblematic of the Italian gastronomic quality.
Who We Are
Sandro Caramelli, owner and CEO Sandro was born in 1945 in Milan, later his parents moved to Rome where he lived during his youth. His family lived at La Ripa only in the summer, during part of
the vacations. His father, Ferruccio Caramelli, a textile industrialist, founded the property as a Company and named it S.A. Santa Brigida in 1941.
This has always remained a family property, and at the passing of his father in 1974, Sandro became CEO.
Nicolas Caramelli, Oenologist
Born in 1980 in Montreux, Switzerland, he grew up and has been living at La Ripa on the property of La Fattoria La Ripa, in the area of San Donato in Poggio (Fi) in Tuscany. For the past ten years, Nicolas has been the oenologist and technical director of La Ripa and, as an oenologist, he also oversees another property in Montalcino (Brunello production).