Sister Moon, Message in a Bottle, When We Dance. It’s not a list of Sting’s iconic songs but the wines that are produced in his winery in Tuscany, Il Palagio. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner or more popularly known as Sting, one of the most famous rock singers of all time, and his wife Trudie Styler, a film producer and actress, purchased Il Palagio, a run-down 16th-century villa in Tuscany in 1997 with 350 hectares of land composed largely of woods, vineyards, olive trees and a lake.
The Martelli family owned and expanded the 16th century villa and estate in 1819, they sold it to the Countess Carlotta Barbolani of Montauto, the widow of the Duke of San Clemente. At the beginning of the 20th century, Duke Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati of San Clemente, one of the founders of the National Association for Agriculture and Tourism, commissioned several new buildings including a grain store, oil mill and wine production area in the property but as the years passed, the estate has fallen into a state of neglect. And that was the time when Sting and Trudie bought the property, which took them seven years to restore the villa, the surrounding structures, the gardens, the vineyards and the olives groves into its glorious state now.
As the villa was refurbished, it became their favorite private retreat where they spent holidays, held private parties and concerts with family and friends. More than two decades later, this Tuscan country estate has also been magically transformed into a fully functioning organic farm with an important production of extra virgin olive oil from olives trees, some of which are centuries-old, fruits and vegetables from their own cultivation, 8 varieties of honey from their apiculture and winemaking production from 60 hectares of vineyards. In addition to that, the villa is now available to be rented as a luxury venue for events and a 9-bedroom holiday retreat, including a number of scattered guesthouses in the property.
Il Palagio estate lies above the picturesque town of Figline Valdarno amidst the beautiful Tuscan countryside of rolling hills of rows of vineyards and lush vegetation on the south of Florence. “The Palagio is like stepping into a painting. And one of my favorite places on Earth. I hope you fall in love with it as much as I have.” – Sting
Il Palagio produces its own extra virgin olive oil from its 8,000 organically grown olive trees, which was awarded by Slow Food Italia and Gambero Rosso with Tre Foglie, the maximum recognizable value of an extra virgin olive oil. Whereas the wine production averages about 120,000 bottles annually, currently with seven labels of white, rosé and red wines obtained from organically cultivated local and international grapes.
In the year 2020, renowned Italian oenologist Riccardo Cotarella joined them as the consultant oenologist, and Ettore del Lupo as the resident oenologist. Sangiovese takes the forefront in the production and with the support of Colorino, Canaiolo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino for the white. They also have a production of Franciacorta in Lombardia. Having beer as their drink of choice in their youth, Sting and Trudie only developed interest in wine when they were in their mid-twenties and their path to wine had seen full impact at Il Palagio. The wine production from the beginning had been produced differently from how the new vintages are done with Cotarella now. A keen qualitative approach has seen progress in the cellar with excellent results appreciated by both the Italian and international market. Tony Sasa, the Sales Manager of the estate, has worked brilliantly in putting Il Palagio labels around the globe, in 43 other countries, apart from Italy.
Tenuta Il Palagio Franciacorta Brut Millesimato 2017
From 100% Chardonnay cultivated in Franciacorta, 37 months on the lees, and obtained from the classic method. Straw yellow with golden highlights, fine and persistent perlage, with an intense nose of citrus peel, breadcrust, ripe yellow fruit and dried nuts with a mouth that boasts freshness, delicate notes of citrus and yellow pulp with a long finish. A refreshing drink for aperitif and good to pair with any food delicate flavors.
Messsage in a Bottle Vermentino Toscana IGT 2021
Obtained from 100% Vermentino cultivated in Maremma, fermentation in steel tanks at low temperature and refinement in steel tanks and bottle for 5 months. In the glass, it shows a straw yellow color with an intense nose which opens with a grassy note then flourishes with its floral and fruity aromas. In the mouth, sapidity is notable and ends persistently with freshness. Great accompaniment with raw or simply-cooked seafood.
Baci sulla Bocca Vermentino Toscana IGT 2021
Obtained from older vines of 100% Vermentino at a higher altitude compared to the ones used at the Message in a Bottle. Straw yellow in color with an intense and moderately complex nose. Distinguished note of crushed stones in the nose, ripe yellow fruit, a note of ripe banana peel and lemon peel. Warmth in the mouth with fresh citrus note, sapid and persistent finish. An elegant complex white wine with potential for aging. It can be good with seafood, simply-cooked white meat and young cheese.
New Day Rosato Toscano IGT 2021
Obtained from 100% Sangiovese, fermentation in steel tanks at low temperature and refinement in steel tanks and bottle for a few months. Soft pink in color, intense nose of red berries, citrus and hint of crushed stones, with freshness in the palate, spreads thinly and ends with a slight bitterness. Good for aperitif, with white meat, elaborately-cooked seafood and medium-aged cheese.
When We Dance Chianti DOCG 2021
Obtained from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo and Colorino, fermentation in steel tanks and refinement in steel tanks for 6 months and bottle for 3 months with pea-protein clarification. A brilliant ruby red color in the glass with an intense nose of sour cherries, red berries, pepper and violet. On the palate, it’s fruit-forward with fine tannins, smooth and long finish. A pleasant young red wine at 13% alcohol that goes with white and red meat, salumi, pasta and aged cheese.
When We Dance Chianti DOCG 2020
Obtained from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo and Colorino, fermentation in steel tanks and refinement in steel tanks for 6 months and bottle for 3 months with pea-protein clarification. A brilliant ruby red color in the glass with an intense nose of red berries, sour cherries and notes of eucalyptus. On the palate, tannins are integrated, soft and lon finish. Alcohol at 13% that goes with white and red meat, salumi, pasta and aged cheese.
Sister Moon Rosso Toscana IGT 2020
Obtained from 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, aged for 12 months in new French barrique and 6 months in the bottle. Deep ruby red color in the glass with an intense and complex nose of black cherries, mature plums, licorice, dried flowers, pepper, dark berries and notes of eucalyptus. On the palate, the dark fruits fill up the mouth, velvety tannins, full body, soft, good freshness and ends with persistence. Great with aged cheese, salumi and red meat.
Tenuta Il Palagio
Address: Via Sant’Andrea, 11 – 50063 Figline e Incisa Valdarno (FI), Italy
Tel: +39 0559502652