A brisk, 30-minute drive from Peretola airport, in the heart of Tuscany’s famed Chianti Classico region, stands a castle that dates back to the 15th century.
Castello di Gabbiano is surrounded by picturesque Tuscan vineyards. Sprinkled across miles and miles of rolling hills, the vines here intermingle with centuries-old olive trees; two world-renowned products that grow in tandem. As you negotiate the twists and turns leading to the castle, the façade of this 5oo-year-old structure pops in and out of view. It’s just enough to whet your appetite and to know you’re entering a place steeped in tradition.
Vines have been growing on these hills since 1480 AD. In the middle ages, it is said that a gold knight, Cavaliere d’Oro, protected the Gabbiano property during tumultuous times.
Owned by Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) – A global wine company headquartered in Australia – Castello di Gabbiano is the spiritual home of the company’s new Italian wine – Cavaliere d’Oro. The castle provided the idyllic backdrop for the international brand launch. Cavaliere d’Oro, an ode to the gold knight, is a portfolio of 13 wines curated from across Italy. It’s designed for the 28-40 crowd. The idea is to make the old-world category more accessible. A selection of wines from this new portfolio is now available for purchase in Canada.
“This collection takes you on a journey into the elegant and lively world of Italian wines,” says Chief Winemaker, and Tuscan native, Federico Cerelli. While we are all familiar with the term, ‘La Dolce Vita,’ Cerelli wants to make ‘Osa La Vita’ – the joy of living boldly, the next international Italian catchphrase. “Born out of the legacy of Gabbiano, Cavaliere d’Oro is a bold collection of wines that allow us to continue to make exceptional Tuscan wines. We look beyond Tuscany to some of Italy’s other exciting regions. It is symbolic of the Italian way of life. That is why we coined the term, ‘Bold or nothing!’”
Thirteen wines make up three tiers: The Chianti range includes six premium wines, produced within the Chianti region of Tuscany. The Regional group of wines adds adventure and depth to the collection, exploring grapes from Italy’s flagship growing regions. They include Tuscany, Sicily, Puglia and Veneto. The Light and Refreshing range round out the portfolio with a selection of fun white and sparkling wines including Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.
Aficionados who enjoy pairing their vino with their meals will be happy to learn that the full range of wines offered in the Cavaliere d’Oro portfolio pair well with a variety of eats from appetizers, to steak and fish, even dessert.
If you’re feeling adventurous, and dare we say, bold, here are some food and wine pairing recommendations from the connoisseurs at Cavaliere d’Oro. Saluti!
Chianti Classico – $18.95:
Aged for ten months in French oak casks, Chianti Classico pairs well with a variety of foods including a selection of Italian cheeses such as pecorino with truffles, provolone or parmesan, pasta in simple tomato sauce or meat sauce and risotto with mushrooms.
Chianti Classico Riserva – $22.95:
Kick it up a few notches with the Chianti Classico Riserva, available in the vintages section several times a year in Ontario (it is readily available in the rest of the country). Grapes in this wine, native to Tuscany, usually undergo an additional 12-month maturation period before the wine is ready to hit store shelves. It pairs well with heavier meats, game with rich sauces, and aged cheeses.
Prosecco – $15.95:
Currently available for private order only in Ontario (it is available in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta), the Prosecco Veneto Doc is the perfect aperitif for spicy fish or meat. It’s sweet aroma and floral notes make it an ideal pairing for light desserts like fruit tarts.
Alleanza IGT Toscana – $39.95:
The Allenza IGT Toscana also available in the vintages section a few times a year for private order only. It is crafted from estate grown grapes. The deep colour of the wine suggests it is best enjoyed with heavier meats and cheeses. Options include braised meat, game roast, and truffle and aged cheese.