Yesterday & Today

  • 1250

    The noble Tuscan Gherardini family, build their own castle at Montagliari, on a hill overlooking the Greve River valley. Next to the castle, the family builds the church of Santa Maria della Neve.

  • 1300

    Banished from Florence by the Black Guelphs, the Gherardini family move permanently into the Montagliari castle. Later forced out of exile, the White Guelph families unite in the Val di Greve valley to rebel against the political dominance of the Black Guelphs. They organise violent attacks to prevent the transportation of livestock and merchandise to Florence.

  • 1302

    The city of Florence, weary of defending itself against these constant episodes of sabotage, destroys the Gherardini’s castle. The Gherardini family has no choice but to move to the other side of the valley, to Vignamaggio.

  • 1400

    With the economic and social development of farms, the ancient settlement at Vignamaggio is transformed into an elegant homestead.

  • 1404

    The first document, testament to the presence of winemaking at Vignamaggio, is drawn up: Amidio Gherardini’s parchment of 1404 provides a symbolic commemoration ofthe beginning of the story which links Vignamaggio to winemaking, a long journey beginning more than 600 years ago.

  • 1421

    To pay their debts, the Gherardini are obliged to cede the estate to the Gherardi family.

  • 1473

    Leonardo da Vinci paints “Paesaggio con fiume”, featuring “Santa Maria della Neve”. The landscape suggests it may be the Santa Maria della Neve of Montagliari, built by the Gherardini family and spared by the Black Guelphs during the destruction of the castle in 1302.

  • 1479

    Monna Lisa Gherardini, the noble woman depicted by Leonardo da Vinci in his celebrated painting “The Mona Lisa”, is born.

  • 1500

    During this period, the villa evolves further. In the book «Popoli e Strade dei capitani di Parte Guelfa» the Vignamaggio farm is featured on the map of the people of San Niccolò in Montagliari.

  • 1600

    Andrea Gherardi retains the farm for a long period, buying up other small farms and increasing production. During this period, the villa becomes a lively arts and culture hub. Vineyards, orchards, olive groves and chestnut forests surround the dwelling which by this time already has a private chapel, an oil mill, some ovens, the charming internal courtyard with its well, the stables, the cacio cheese room and a few chicken houses.

  • 1700

    The farm produces and sells wine, oil, wheat, barley, and smaller quantities of mulberry leaves, cocoons, pigeons, fruit and wood. Vignamaggio comprised of no less than 17 smaller farms, each one the producer of its own speciality: like the hazelnuts from the Luco farm and the almonds and figs from the Termine farm.

  • 1800

    At the beginning of the century, the entire region falls victim to a destructive agricultural crisis. In 1831 the Gherardi family sells the villa and the property is owned by numerous different families during the remainder of the century.

  • 1900

    Vineyards and olive groves just about take over the Chianti landscape, to the detriment of the small scale cereal plantations and fruit orchards. In 1926 the Sanminiatelli Counts turn Vignamaggio into an important arts and culture centre. In 1987 the estate is bought by the Nunziante family, who restore the buildings and gardens, renovating the cellars and opening the estate to the public.


    In 2014, architect Patrice Taravella takes over the management of Vignamaggio. His dream is to share Vignamaggio, not only as a place, but as an experience. This idea integrates well with plans for agricultural diversification and a revitalisation of the gardens and vegetable gardens.



From our Blog

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