A winery in Maremma Toscana designed by Renzo Piano

Bespoke visits at Rocca di Frassinello in Tuscany, Italy

In the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, between Bolgheri and Montalcino, Rocca di Frassinello was born as a joint venture between Castellare di Castellina and Domaines Barons de Rothschild-Château Lafite. Architect Renzo Piano signed the project of the cellar: an elegant and highly functional building.


Rocca di Frassinello

Rocca di Frassinello lies on the right hillside of the old Aurelia road which, thanks to the first major Roman road, forms a sort of canyon through which sea wind travels across, blowing from the plain between Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. This constant breeze takes away any moisture from the air and provides for an even milder climate, both during the winter and summer months. The tallest hill in the area, in front of the village of Giuncarico, offers a spectacular sea view over Marina di Grosseto, all the way to the Uccellina Regional Park.

Rocca di Frassinello came to be thanks to an Italian-French joint venture, which is why the nearly 90 hectares of vineyards feature equally divided varieties: 50% Italian and 50% French. Except for the Baffonero (100% Merlot), all our wines are blends. The first vintage was produced in 2004 and included approximately 130,000 official bottles.

Barrel room

Rocca di Frassinello chose Renzo Piano, just as Renzo Piano, in turn, chose Rocca di Frassinello. The motivation is rooted in the longstanding friendship that binds the famous architect to Paolo Panerai. Renzo Piano has designed a cellar essential in terms of its shape and conceived not to serve as a monument to the customer or to the wine, but rather to enhance the functionality of what it represents: remaining a place where productive work unfolds – work of a specific, ritual, almost sacral nature – yet at the same time humble. Typically, wineries are characterised by a progressive and horizontal development of the premises to follow the production cycle: from the vat cellar to the barrel room and finishing up in the storehouse. Renzo Piano has revolutionised this concept of space, posing the question of what really is the heart of a wine cellar: where the wine ages in barrels or bottles, where its quality improves. The answer: the barrel room set in a central underground position, making it possible to naturally maintain a stable humidity and temperature. An imposing 40 by 40 square metre space, with an enormous floor slab that stands without being supported by any columns. All around, like a 20-metre frame, the distribution of all aspects of the production cycle unfolds. The steel tanks are distributed on two sides of the area and above each one stands a chute that opens onto the roof above. The roof of the barrique serves, in fact, a dual purpose: as the large work area created above – "the churchyard", as Renzo Piano calls it – while the grapes come down from those chutes carried in crates, and are carefully selected on special work benches without the stress of pumps, before descending. All other production functions are distributed along the other two sides: bottling, storage, warehousing and logistics.

Wine Tourism at Rocca di Frassinello

Our guests can spend a few hours exploring the multi-faceted identity of the Rocca di Frassinello winery: a journey that begins discovering Renzo Piano’s revolutionary architecture, to then explore the Etruscan Exhibition designed by Italo Rota, gaining a deeper understanding of the magical art of making wine and its ancient roots which, in this area, date back to almost three millennia ago. The tour concludes with a wine tasting, livened by the opportunity to admire David LaChapelle’s Rapture of the Grape of Rocca di Frassinello, which the great American photographer and artist created inspired by the estate’s wines and surrounding landscape.

Key features

  • Standard wine tasting
  • Exceptional wine tasting
  • Cellar visit
  • Vineyards visit
  • Wine for sale on property
  • Wine shipping available
  • Gift shop
  • Wine pairing available
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