In 1202 and 1208 Fonterutoli was the location of two peace treaties between Florence and Siena, when the territory of Chianti was ceded to Florence. A popular legend tells a...
A wine made in Tuscany
Philip is an extraordinary wine created to honour the Mazzei family's great ancestor, Philip Mazzei
This wine embodies the "New World" spirit of Tuscan winemaking, best represents the revolutionary character of Philip Mazzei, and expresses the Mazzei family's desire to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
Philips is a quintessentially Tuscan wine. It bring together the fragrance and elegance of wines produced in the famous area of Chianti Classico with the opulence and powder of wines from the more recently discovered Maremma region.
The combination of Cabernet Sauvignon from two different estates creates aromatic complexity, depth of color and powerful structure while simultaneously lending minerality, elegance and finesse to the wine.
Philip Mazzei was born on December 25, 1730 in Poggio a Caiano near Florence, Italy. Mazzei was a man of wide interests and talents, and his influence was felt both in America and across Europe where he travelled extensively.
He was highly respected and regarded among prominent men from all walks of life. Throughout Virginia and Europe philosophers, merchants, businessmen, politicians, diplomats, presidents and noblemen all sought Mazzei’s friendship and advice.
By the time of his death on March 19, 1816 in Pisa, Italy, Philip Mazzei had been a physician, merchant, horticulturalist, viticulturalist, pamphleteer, political activist, linguist, diplomatic agent, historian, and royal adviser.
The Viticultural Legacy
While in London working as a merchant, Mazzei met several important traders and figureheads from Virginia, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Adams. Adams believed the soil in Virginia to be fertile and encouraged Mazzei to draw up agricultural plans for the cultivation of Mediterranean fruits and types of plants. This encouragement, coupled with Mazzei's passion for viticulture and horticulture, inspired him to create a visionary viticulture program for Virginia. Mazzei's intention was to bring the culture and tradition of Tuscan winemaking to Virginia.
In September 1773 after securing funding, and with the permission oof the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Mazzei set sail for Virginia with his vines, olive trees, ten vignerons, and other materials from Tuscany.
When Mazzei arrived in Monticello, Jefferson persuaded him to stay and gave him 193 acres of land on the south side of Monticello. Mazzei purchased about 700 more acres by 1778 and named his farm Colle. Philip planted the first European vines at Colle, the property Mazzei had purchased for himself nera Jefferson's estate of Monticello.
In a letter to George Washington, Mazzei wrote that Virginia's soil and climate was "better calculated" than any other for wine production.
It was the first Wine Company in America.
Today Philip Mazzei's legacy lives on and has been celebrated with the planting of native, exclusive vines from the Marchesi Mazzei estate of Fonterutoli in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany by Francesco and Filippo Mazzei.
"I thank you for your obliging act of the culture of the vine, and am happy to hear that your plantation of them is in so prosperous way. I have long been of opinion from the spontaneous growth of the vine, that the climate and soil in many parts of Virginia were well fitted for Vineyards, and the Vine sooner or later would become a valuable article of produce. The relation of your experiments convince me I was right."
The Humanitarian Legacy
Born and raised in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1730, Philip Mazzei absorbed the libertarian ideals of the Asburgo-Lorena reigning family, ideals of which he eventually become an outspoken advocate. During his almost 20 year stay in London, Philip developed close relationship with Benjamin Franklin and several important businessmen from Virginia, who spoke to him of both the new political climate and agricultural possibilities in the colonies.
He quickly became swept up in the movement for independence, of which he was a firm believer and fervent proponent in both America and Europe. He befriended and collaborated with several prominent political figures of the time, such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, with whom he shared his modern and progressive ideas.
Once the Declaration of Independence had been written and signed, Mazzei translated the document into Italian for several important newspapers.
Mazzei was a prolific writer, transmitter of revolutionary ideals, liberal thinker, visionary, and “citizen of the world.”
He is a significant exemplar of the trans-Atlantic nature of the American revolution and may be considered the first Italian immigrant to promote economic and political relations between the United Stated and Italy. In celebration and recognition of his contributions and role as an American Patriot, a commemorative stamp entitled “Patriot Remembered”, was issued in 1980 on the 250th anniversary of this birth.
John F. Kennedy - A Nation of Immigrants
"The great doctrine 'All men are created equal', incorporated into the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, was paraphrased from the writings of Philip Mazzei, and Italian-born patriot, and close friend of Jefferson".
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