WELCOME TO TENUTA MARYAMADO
From the noble Florentines of the 1500s to the current owners: Tenuta Maryamado encompasses years of fascinating history filled with a veritable passion for the land of Tuscany.
The Villa of Lucignano, today Villa Maryamado, was purchased in 1546 by a member of one of the most important noble Florentine families, the Guicciardini family. The property was known as the Villa of Bonorlo during that period. Architect and sculptor Gherardo Silvani, among the most important and prolific artists of seventeenth-century Florence, was commissioned for the renovation project. Piero Bardi, cicisbeo to the wife of the Florentine nobleman, probably took care of the garden.
The family’s archive from 1805 tells of a vast field surrounding the Villa on three sides, with around 8400 square metres enclosed by parapets.
In between two wings of cypress trees, in front of the Villa, there are two terracotta lions resting on pillars. At the end of another cypress-lined pathway, there are two other pillars similar to the aforementioned ones, which also hold terracotta animals, in an ornate spherical space. From this space, the path continues to the main road, which serves as the main access point to the Tenuta, and continues to another path which leads to the farmhouse known as Brugnano, one of twelve belonging to this Property.
1810 – 1868
The youngest son of the late owner inherited the Villa and farm of Lucignano in 1810. He returned to Italy in 1814 after living in exile in France and began to fervently tend to his properties. He commissioned architect Lorenzo Nottolini, from Lucca, to build the Villa’s lemon house between 1820 and 1825. Subsequent work on the Villa has also been documented in the family archive. In 1868, it was decided a large cistern would be built under the Villa’s lawn in an area conducive to not needing a pump. It would hold around 1100 cubic metres of water which could be used both in the gardens and the vegetable garden, and in the stables and cellars.
Once this project was successfully completed, reconstruction of the garden’s dilapidated wall took place. The garden was enlarged and enclosed with a gate, creating a large wooded area around seventy metres long with good lemon trees and cover intended for the winter season…The Villa was fitted with shutters...The flooring of the salon on the ground floor was renovated in the Venetian style; and all the facades of the Villa, farm and other buildings, were plastered in the fresh air of springtime.
1869 - 1871
The estate begins to take on an appearance increasingly similar to that of today. In the spring of 1869, the road was also restored by removing an obstruction of climbing vines, to avoid having to pass through an existing uphill section. This reduction was quite significant, since at one point the plants had reached a height of 4 1⁄2 metres, a width of about 12 metres, and a length of about one hundred metres. Restoration of the side lawns and the lawn within the Villa was carried out to the north and south, enclosing this large area with an iron fence with brick pillars and shaped stone chapiters. There were six iron gates and the main one had a grandiose appearance.
This courtyard was planted with a row of linden trees and many conifers were dispersed throughout the lawn along with various flower baskets. The Stables were completed in 1870 from the remains of an old space along the courtyard that was previously used as a shed, wine cellar and wood cellar. It was also necessary to reconstruct the access road to these stables, as there was a difficult climb and every time a cart had to leave, a couple of oxen needed to be added for reinforcement. There were also many mounted horses that would not climb the hill. This change in the road meant it was no longer necessary to go across the Villa’s lawn.
1885 – Today
Throughout the years, consideration for the estate continued with a succession of heirs and various upgrades, including restoration of the farm and the vineyards. Then, the gardens were simplified and the vegetable garden was definitively abandoned in the 1970s. The estate was purchased by the current owners in 2019 with the aspiration of preserving its essence and respecting its history.
Ambitious renovation projects are currently in progress and seek to preserve a beautiful part of Tuscan cultural heritage for generations to come and to produce outstanding local products in an area renowned for its centuries-old traditions. These products are exceptional thanks to unique soil, rich in limestone and clay; a distinctive climate; and the knowledge of these ancient vocations which has been passed down from generation to generation.
We are applying the best restoration techniques and engaging the collaboration of architects and landscape designers, engineers, craftsmen, agronomists, an oenologist, an olive oil consultant and an expert consultant in biodiversity.
Passion and determination are key to this project, emerging organically from the admiration and respect for the landscape’s beauty and this region’s cultural heritage.
The restoration of the historic buildings include work on the villa, a prestigious residence at the heart of the estate, and surrounding structures. Among these, of particular historical interest are the wash-house, the lemon house, the mill and caves used to hide women and children during the Second World War.
The estate’s landscaping and production goals are:
Significantly improve the quality and variety of agricultural products produced on the farm with the best organic farming techniques, highlight the ancient cultivated crops that have been lost and emphasise traditional, old and new varieties. We focus a great deal on the production of top-quality olive oil and wine, thanks to the use of cutting-edge technologies, and pay particular attention to every step of production. As for the production of extra virgin olive oil, the centuries-old olive trees are excellent examples of traditional Tuscan varieties: frantoio, moraiolo, pendolino, morchiaio, and leccio del corno. The olives are harvested early and completely by hand at the first signs of veraison and immediately pressed in a modern oil mill at low temperatures with reduced oxidative impact. We currently produce five monovarietal extra virgin olive oils and two blend. We plan to increase production by introducing a second blend in 2021.
We are committed to the restoration of historic gardens, abandoned and neglected for years.
Increase biodiversity throughout the entire estate thanks to the involvement of naturalist experts, who will assess the current fauna and flora and implement strategies to improve the variety of species, with particular attention to reintroduce rare species that have almost disappeared from the area.
Increase the property’s cultural relevance with the establishment of a small museum and careful integration of important works of art into the landscape. Also through the care of the gardens and the creation of picturesque viewpoints and gardens seamlessly inserted in the local context, without forgetting the desire to hide the less-pleasing elements of the landscape such as power lines or telephone poles, in order to improve the panorama we see and what those around us see too.
Create a system capable of ensuring water self-sufficiency, also in regards to the irrigation system for the gardens and all crops, and a drainage system and soil erosion control which are also in ruins after years of neglect.
OUR LAND, OUR CROPS. THE WONDERS OF THE NATURE OF TUSCANY.
Nestled in the gently rolling hillsides in the north of the estate, the ‘Heritage Fields’ (or ‘Campi Antichi’ or ‘Campi del Fossato’) are dedicated to a rotating production of organic ancient grains and wheat that is harvested every year and transformed into a range of artisanal pastas and bread products.
The estate hosts a number of groves, each with their unique mix of olive varieties, sun and wind exposure, age, and even cultivation methods. From old groves of majestic trees, to newly planted espalier-trained groves, the variety of our olive groves enable the estate to consistently produce award winning organic olive oil. As part of the estate’s mission to serve as stewards of local farming tradition, we are also planting an ‘Olearium’ - a special grove of over 25 historic varieties of Tuscan olives to ensure the genome of these varieties are protected and ensured for future generations.
Our organic vineyards at Tenuta Maryamado are situated in some of the most privileged of positions in the Florentine area for growing Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes and are governed by the DOCG Chianti Colli Fiorentini. Growing along a spectacular, rolling ridge-line that extends from the Church of Santa Cristina to San Quirico in Collina, our grapes benefit from uplifted marine Pliocene soils dating millions of years old which are characterised by a rich combination of neo-native clays, sands, and a predominant presence of pebbles. Several distinct microclimates and various exposures complete the unique terroir of our vineyards.
Respect for the environment is a guiding philosophy for everything we do in our winemaking process. This starts with a keen eye and careful management of the vineyards' soils where we are limiting work in order to maintain a sustainable, mutually-beneficial relationship by increasing biodiversity and soil microorganisms, which in turn adds to healthier vines and better wines. Above all, we are focused on producing excellent wines which are a direct expression of the intense combination of our history, territory and love for our work.
As part of the farm’s mission to produce a wide variety of local products, the farm is in the planning and preparation stage for the planting of new organic saffron fields. This world famous spice is actually the stigma and styles of the beautiful and delicate flower of Crocus sativus. Collected by hand during a few days of the year in the autumn, besides being used in culinary and tradition for thousands of years, there are many on-going studies regarding other potential medicinal uses of saffron.
Traditional and exotic organic vegetables and fruit trees will be cultivated on the farm in addition to cutting flowers providing fresh seasonal produce and flowers throughout the year. As part of the farm’s sustainability strategy, organic topsoil for all of the gardens will be produced directly on site through a wholistic composting program so that the great majority of organic waste is recycled onsite, reducing the need to transport new topsoil from outside of the estate for the production and ornamental gardens.