An All Female Family: Donna Fittipaldi

December 10, 2017

by Maria Fittipaldi Menarini

There is a design, a purpose, in all of us, a road laid out for our lives even when it seems far from clear to us, unlikely, even unthinkable, but at times, by magic, we discover the direction to take.


Strictly by chance I came to Bolgheri, invited by a friend …. and I was thunderstruck at the sight of the countryside, sunny, happy, balmy …. I had always thought of the countryside as a sad and lifeless place …. and it was then that I began to look for a house. I fell in love with the Pineta, on the wine road and consequently…

Consequently, in 2006, together with my daughters, I found myself with a small but choice production of a nectar which became Donne Fittipaldi, the natural consequence of a family formed entirely of women. And, in this precise way, a dream became a reality, one with 10 years of life by now.

Our objective, from the start, has been to produce wine of great elegance and balance and above all, wines capable of transmitting all the character of the great names of Bolgheri, famous all over the world for their level of excellence.

The content of our bottles had the aesthetic necessity of a container which would be adequate for certain expectations, and in that way (thanks to an acquaintance) the image of Donna Fittipaldi was born and took on a concrete shape; this is all due to the indispensable creative contribution of Giores, the signature of artists Giorgio Restelli.

Chance, the meeting of two different stories, both declined in the feminine and linked by the emotional charge of the artist….

I have never believed in plans or projects created around a table but rather I surrender to real life experience; it is those “accidents” which occur unexpectedly that I trust in.

Donna Fittipaldi was born from nothing, took shape through a natural chain of fluid events, slowly taking time to perfect the quality of its contents, intimate moments which, on their own, not planned, not sought after, strangely took on a life of their own.

An adventure and a challenge of five beginners which, in the end, became a grand surprise.

Wine is life and love, it is not merely the expression of a territory but also its interpretation. The sensibility and the passion of those who create it intersect with the soil and the landscape and give life to something unique.

Like a painter, the grower-producer, with his “canvas” before him, expresses himself through the colors and shadings which are available to him, those which move and inspire him.

We, “Donne Fittipaldi”, wish to express, through our wines, elegance, sinuosity, sensuality, freshness, the “lightness,” heavy with contents typical of the feminine sex.

The beauty of Nature vibrates in us with its magic, nature itself is present in every artist as a vital interior force which sparks creativity.

Art has enormous power, it is something which touches the soul in its very depths. For this reason, together with my four daughters, we tie our wine to art, choosing an artist who illustrates, with his own distinctive stylistic sign, a series of limited edition Magnums. During Italy’s Vinitaly fair the creations of the artist are displayed alongside the wine.

It all began with the works of Giores, the first artist to be displayed and still a collaborator of the house who supervises the overall artistic approach. He was the protagonist of the first show, inspired by the mating of Art and Wine, a distinctive sign of Donne Fittipaldi. A decision successively interpreted by other artists such as Riccardo Bagnoli with his “Buio Reale” in 2016. The success of the show inspired a decision to create a prize which saw the finest young artistic talents of the Accademia delle Belle Arti, the Academy of Fine Arts, of Verona, all called to interpret the spirit and soul of Donne Fittipaldi. Art is our foundation, the stone, the basis of the stylistic choices of our house.

Ogni opera, come ogni vino ha una sua anima. Every work of art, just like every wine, has a soul

Our winery is part of an oenological story which goes far back in time.

In the year 1870, Count Walfredo della Gherardesca changed the way the territory had been organized, creating a more balanced series of single farms, each with its own vineyards and olive groves, each with its own dwelling place. Donne Fittipaldi extends over some 115 acres (46 hectares) of land around one of these old structures, “the Pineta farmhouse.”

In 1992 the estate returned to its former glory thanks to a careful work of renovation and restructuring. In 2004, new vineyards were planted which respected the specific character of the soil and microclimate of the various individual plots.

The decision to plant Malbec was motivated by the desire to give a real importance to this highly adaptable variety, one capable of giving wines of much personality. A local grape variety, Orpicchio, largely forgotten, was also planted, demonstrating the awareness that it was possible to recover the genetic patrimony of Tuscany and the typicality of the region’s production of wine.

The area’s great viticultural potential has always been known. Wine is part of its very breath, a wine which expresses the salt air of the sea, the rolling hillsides of the interior, bathed by breezes, hills which stretch as far as the eye can see.

Intense emotions are felt each time one gazes at this magnificent panorama, as though it was the very first time. And each and every time this wine – a perfect interpretation of the territory’s expression – is drunk, this is the place to be.

Together with my four daughters – Carlotta, Giulia, Serena, and Valentina – I decided to undertake a project which required courage, resourcefulness, tenacity, sensuality, and a taste for beauty, all typically feminine traits. Our consulting winemaker, Emiliano Falsini, when asked, “why did you decide to take on this project and what should we expect from Lady F” answered:

“Because Donne Fittipaldi has in its DNA the challenge, the desire to experiment, to dare, to bring to light and to show the importance of the territory of Bolgheri as well as the little known grape varieties such as Orpicchio and Malbec.”

Lady F, 2015 is the first 100% Orpicchio produced on a substantial scale. We experimented with a fermentation in stainless steel tanks and, additionally, a small part in oak. After a few months of tasting and monitoring, we decided that the best idea was a blend of the two. We are convinced that the freshness of the part fermented in stainless steel is perfectly balanced by the light oaky note endowed by the brief passage in a barrel.

What is born is a special white wine, a unique one in the overall Tuscan picture. It is elegant on the nose with typical notes of sage, pears and white pepper. The palate is savory, mineral and, on the finish, bracing. Lady F is not only a white wine which goes very well indeed with food but is also an excellent aperitif thanks to its crisp and refreshing finish. Last year, 2016, we celebrated ten years of active life at Vinitaly and immediately afterwards began to think … now what? We have an idea but…. it will be a surprise.


Produced from Malbec grapes, a variety brought to Argentina where it has become the principal grape for that nation’s wines, has found in the territory of Bolgheri, a perfect environment for expressing its exceptional grace as well.

Malaroha Malbec is the iconic wine of Donne Fittpaldi and the example of how an elegant and gracious variety is a wine of extraordinary character and great longevity, capable of satisfying the palates of the most demanding connoisseurs.

Malaroja is a typical example of a great Tuscan wine in which the distinctive traits of the Malbec grape variety fuse perfectly with the beauty of our territory, a place where producing wine is an art and a pleasure.