The Villa of Vignamaggio, surrounded by an elegant Italian garden in a stunningly beautiful corner of the Chianti countryside, offers an authentic testimony of countrylife during the Renaisance period. The main part of the villa dates back to the 14th century.
The Gherardi family who bought the villa from the Gherardini at the end of the 16th century, were responsible for its present appearance.
Mona Lisa, the daughter of Anton Maria Gherardini, was born at Vignamaggio in 1479. The Gherardini were a noble family in Tuscany, probably of Etruscan or Roman origin.
They began to construct their castle at Montagliari on a hill dominating the Greve river valley.
From this position the Gherardini often robbed the merchants on their way to Florence, who in 1302 finally decided to put an end to these episodes and besieged the castle.
After a long hard battle the Gherardini moved to the other side of the valley at Vignamaggio where they built the first part of the villa.
The estate was bought in 1925 by Contessa Elena Samminiatelli, whose family restored the Italian gardens and the villa.
Since 1988 Mr. Gianni Nunziante the new owner has undertaken an extensive renovation of the buildings, the gardens, the vineyards and the wine cellars.
Research carried out at the Datini archives in Prato has brought to light a number of documents relating to Vignamaggio. One of these, in particular, dated 26 October 1404, consists of a letter to Francesco Datini signed by Amido Gherardini, at that time the owner of the estate, which talks about "vino inbotato a Vignamag(i)o" (literally "wine placed in barrels at Vignamaggio"). For this reason, in 2004 the estate celebrated six hundred years of winemaking.
THE PAPER OF 1404
In the name of God, amen.The 26 of October 1404.
On the 23rd of this (month) I received your letter: I am answering here below.
You write that you have taken half barrel from my cask and there is no need to write me about it as I deem my property to be yours and you can dispose of as you please.
You write me that I should send you half a barrel of wine: I send you a "soma" (an ancient measurement) and you take what you want and the wine which left keeps it in the barrel as it will be good to drink, and (in such way) you will not put it in the cask that early. The cask I have under the roof, empty, I thought to use for the wine which I have here in Vignamaggio , but if you need it you can use.
You write that I shall inform you when I will come to Florence: why you need to ask me? I would come now if it were not that I have two masters: but in any case I shall be here until after All Saints (November 1 st ). That is all. Regards to Margherita on my part.
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