Neil and Maria Empson have always had a passion for the Chianti region in Tuscany. In 1988, they decided to act on that passion and founded their own winery, Toscolo, to make Chianti. Even the winery’s name is a homage to Tuscany; Toscolo is an old Italian Renaissance word for “Tuscan Boy.”
The Empsons chose their friend and star enologist Franco Bernabei to style the wines with Neil himself, and they worked tirelessly to make sure that Toscolo truly represented the region they loved so much. The finest vineyards were chosen from the region’s major Chianti terroirs and the Empson’s made sure o find and use onlystate-of-the-art facilities and a great team.
Neil and Franco chose to craft the wines using traditional vinification with a well-balanced use of wood. The entire Chianti range was aimed at combining fruit and finesse with that essential “bite” that makes these wines particularly food-friendly and versatile.
Maria also played a major role in Toscolo’s creation. An artist who went on to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Maria personally designed Toscolo’s ultra-classic packaging.
In 2008, the Empsons decided to expand the wine range and introduced a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, the only white wine in the region to reach DOCG status and one of Italy’s oldest white grapes.
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