For centuries, the Chianti Classico was fought over by the rival state republics Siena and Florence. The Castello was a prized outpost of the Florentines, because of its strategically advantageous location.
According to a chronic from the archives of Castle Brolio, the Castello di San Polo in Rosso can be traced back to the 8th century.
It is mentioned for a second time in documents from 1070. At that time, a parish church, which still remains to this day, stood on the hill of what is now the castle.
Converted to a fortress
The entire annex was turned into a fortress during the 13th century, due to its geographic location in the border area of the powerful cities.
The church, together with the living quarters of the minister (Canonica), the courtyard with cisterns and even the church tower were converted into a fortress.
The bell tower served the fortress as a watch tower, making it possible to spy on the enemy to the south.
Owned by the Ricasoli for centuries
From the 12th century until about 30 years ago, the Castello was owned by the famous and influential Ricasoli Firidolfi family.
The history of San Polo in Rosso is influenced greatly by internal family disputes.
Siege in the 14th century
In 1351, the Castello was attacked by its own, in an armed raid by some of the Ricasolis.
The siege finally ended after the intervention of the population and florentine troops.
Attack and liberation
As with all castles of the Chianti, the Castello San Polo in Rosso was conquered in 1478 by the Neapolitan Aragonese. The Aragonese had originally come from Spain and had already joined forces with the Siena, who were loyal to the Emperor.
Due to the peace-making victory of the Florentine Republic over Siena under the leadership of Lorenzo di Medici ‘Il Magnificio’, the liberation of the castle and its return to Florentine hands began in 1483.
Living in Castle Brolio, the Baron Ricasoli sold the entire complex (400 hectares) to the current owner Cesare and Katrin Canessa.
They lovingly and patiently restored the fortress, the stately villa, the surrounding farmhouses and last but not least the 22 hectares of vineyards.
The exemplary respect for style and tradition, for material and history of the land is remarkable.