Despite controlling nine separate wineries (including Castello di Nipozzano, Castiglioni, Santa Maria, Castello di Pomino, and Castel Giocondo) with 1,000 hectares of vineyards—making it the largest vineyard owner in Toscana—Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi manages to avoid the pitfalls of large-scale production and to maintain a line of quality wines. The Frescobaldis can trace their noble roots more than 1,000 back into the history of Toscana, and their winemaking tradition is almost as old. Records show the English royal court importing Frescobaldi wine as early as the 1300’s, and in 1855 a member of the family introduced international varieties like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot to his Tuscan vineyards.
Father Lamberto and sons Vittorio, Ferdinando, and Leonardo gave the estate a makeover in the early 1960’s, introducing innovative techniques in viticulture and modern approaches to business. Their most prominent steps have been partnerships and joint ventures with Robert Mondavi that included the purchase of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia and the creation of Luce.
Perhaps his most important wines are from Castel Giocondo, which Frescobaldi acquired in 1989. Here again, the history and size make them an undeniable force, and once again their quality out merits quantity. The estate was built in 1100 and became one of the first four houses to produce Brunello; with 151 hectares dedicated to the Sangiovese vine it is also the largest in Montalcino. The estate, puts out three Sangiovese wines; Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello, Brunello Riserva as well as the Lamaione, a cru based Merlot. Grapes at this estate are also utilized for Luce, which is a joint venture with the Mondavi family.