Location: Santa Lucia, Province of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
Founded in 1988 by Neil and Maria Empson, Toscolo was a labor of love for the Empsons who wanted to express their longtime passion for the Chianti region. They called on friend and world-renowned winemaker, Franco Bernabei to help style the wines, combining fruit and finesse.
Points of Differentiation
- Fashioned by world-renown winemaker, Franco Bernabei
- The vineyards are located in Chianti’s best terroirs
- The terrain and microclimates are intriguingly diverse
- Toscolo’s range also includes a Vernaccia di San Gimignano which is the only white in the region to reach DOCG status
- Toscolo’s ultra-classic packaging was designed by Maria Gemma Empson
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.
Toscolo’s vineyards include some of the finest sites in Chianti’s major regions as well as intriguingly diverse terrains and microclimates. The soil types include:
- A very fine-textured limestone at 1,312-1,476 feet above sea level
- A classic, clayey/calcareous, rocky galestro at 1,300 feet above sea level
- A clayey/siliceous/calcareous soil at 820-990 feet above sea level
From these select sites, the grapes are cherry-picked according to harvest conditions in the individual terroirs and microclimates. This balanced management of geological diversity makes for the wine’s consistent excellence. Attentive vineyard management, a high density of vines per acre and correspondingly low crop yields also help Toscolo achieve consistent vintage-to-vintage quality.
- Winery Fast Facts
- Vineyard surface: 62 acres (25 hectares)
- Owner: Neil & Maria Empson
- Winemaker: Franco Bernabei
- Established: 1988
- Location: Santa Lucia
- Province: Pisa