Overview of the Tenuta di Gracciano
A wine estate between Cortona and Montepulciano.
The Gracciano Estate lies in the lush and ample Chiana valley which runs south of Florence from Arezzo to Orvieto. The valley is above all renowned for its wine, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and the succulent T-bone steaks from the wide-horned white Chianina cattle.
This area between Montepulciano and Cortona was described by Frances Mayes in her bestseller „Under the Tuscan Sun“. Her beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy, loving a house, and, always, the pleasures of food encaptures the delights of a Tuscan holiday. Mayes often portrays life in Cortona as timeless, and this sense of serendipity is only one of the reasons to come to Gracciano.
The Tenuta di Gracciano belonged to the Svetoni family since the beginning of the 1800’s. From this family of historic wine makers from Montepulciano the property passed down some 40 years ago to the present owners, the della Seta family from Florence.
A spectacular new winery was built in 2013 and in 2015 the estate converted to organic farming. The favorable microclimate, the exposure of the vineyards, and the clay and limestone soil combine to produce a full-bodied yet supple and elegant wine. In 2016 their Riserva was awarded « bicchieri » the highest award by the Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most prestigious wine guide.
The estate extends over 100 hectares of which 20 are planted with vines. The vineyards are spread over the Gracciano hills at 300 meters above sealevel, one of the best wine-growing areas of Montepulciano. Fields and woodland form a picturesque patchwork over the rest of the estate surrounding the Maramai and the La Stufa farmhouse villas which can be rented by the week.
HOUSES ON THIS ESTATE AVAILABLE FOR WEEKLY RENTAL
Number of beds : 9
Maramai lies in immediate vicinity of 2 villages whith all the necessary shops, but from the house all you can see are fields, olive groves and vineards.
- Montepulciano 7 km – 10 min
- Pienza 20 km – 25 min
- Cortona 25 km – 35 min
- Cetona 30 km – 35 min
- Arezzo 50 km – 45 min
- Siena 60 km – 1 hr
- Orvieto 65 km – 1 hr
- Perugia 60 km – 1 hr
- Florence 115 km – 1 hr 25 min
- Rome 185 km – 2 hr 15 min
- Pisa 190 km – 2 hr 10 min
Activities & Places of interest
- Maramai lies on the the Gracciano della Seta wine estate, for more information visit http://www.graccianodellaseta.com/en/. A spectacular new winery was built in 2013 and in 2015 the estate converted to organic farming. The favorable microclimate, the exposure of the vineyards, and the clay and limestone soil combine to produce a full-bodied yet supple and elegant wine. In 2016 their Riserva was awarded « bicchieri » the highest award by the Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most prestigious wine guide. The careful management of the estate has improved the quality year by year, through a drastic reduction of the yields (now only 35-40 hl/ha), and the purchase of new French oak casks for the aging of the wine. The cellars can be visited by guests of Maramai by appointment and different vintages of Vino Nobile and Rosso di Montepulciano can be purchased here. The family’s own olive oil, produced in small quantities for family and friends, is also for sale.
- The house is surrounded by 3 villages at a distance of 1 to 3 km. Here you will find shops, cafés, newsstands, banks and simple restaurants. In the house you will find a detailed list of restaurants we recommend in the surroundings. The hospital of Montepulciano is 5 km away.
- Florence and Siena, Tuscany’s most important cultural milestones, are easy to reach from Maramai.
- Montepulciano is a graceful Tuscan hill town, best known for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which was being praised by connoisseurs over 200 years ago and can certainly contend with Italy’s best today. The many churches and handsome palazzi, the steep cobbled alleys and vine-trailing stone bastions are essential viewing for anyone venturing south of Siena. On a clear day from the top of the town you have tremendous panoramic views across the countryside, stretching towards Assisi’s Monte Subasio, Monte Amiata, the Val d’Orcia, Pienza, and even the towers of Siena.
- Montalcino is beautifully situated on a hill inhabited since Etruscan times, swathed in vineyards and olive groves. It is a quiet, affluent, attractive town with pretty buildings and flower-filled squares, and many shops selling the Brunello di Montalcino.
- Pienza, the unfinished “utopian” city, was commissioned by Pope Pius II in 1459. In just three years the cathedral, the papal and bishop’s palaces and the central part of the town were completed, but the extensive project ended abruptly when Pius died only two years after the consacration of the cathedral.
The Val d’Orcia is a wide valley south of Siena through which the old Via Francigena (the chief route linking Rome with the north) used to lead, passing castles and fortified towns, some of them dating back as far as the eighth century. In San Quirico make sure you see the Horti Leonini, an early Renaissance garden, as well as the western door in the city wall and the Collegiata (main church).
- Monte Oliveto Maggiore. This abbey was founded by three Sienese noblemen who left the city to live a life dedicated to prayer, religion, etc. and who founded the Olivetan order – an off-shoot of the Benedictines. The most important thing to see at this still active and working Monastery is the cycle of frescoes that decorate the monumental cloister. They describe the live of Saint Benedict and were painted by Signorelli and Sodoma. There are also some beautiful marquetry stalls in the church itself. It is a very magical and serene place set in the midst of exceptionally beautiful countryside.
It is home to a dozen monks who specialize in restoring old books, and make wine, honey and olive oil.
- San Casciano dei Bagni with its luxurious spa in a Medici villa, 35 km.
- Fashion addicts can splurge out at the famous Prada factory outlet, which lies on to road to Florence
- There are tennis courts in the next village at 1 km
- While bikes can be hired in the same village.
- Guides are available to take you round the area. Hiking is wonderful here, especially in the nearby Orcia Valley.