Q&A with Andrea Biagini of Cinciano
By Karen Etches, Italian Wine Scholar
Andrea Biagini has been working as the wine production chief of Cinciano since 2017, managing all wine processes, from the field to bottle, in concert with the winemaker consultant Stefano Porcinai. Stefano brings an extensive knowledge of the Chianti Classico area and in particular its wines and how to enhance the best of the Sangiovese grape.
Cinciano has a great history and we can breathe that history from every corner of the estate. It is truly beautiful.
The first known documents about Cinciano are from 1126, where Zaballina, the female owner of Cinciano at that time, gave this piece of property of the Poggibonsi hills to the Church of Florence. Due to this, the Bishop of Florence used to live here and could reach the city with a coach throughout an old Roman stony road surrounded by cypress trees.
After the estate switched hands several times, in 1983 the Garrè Family bought Cinciano. They completed extensive restoration of the buildings which are surrounded by 24 hectares of vineyards and 45 hectares of olive trees. The estate includes rooms and apartments and a fabulous restaurant and wine bar. Every aspect of Cinciano is personally taken care of. Cinciano has almost 22 hectares planted with Sangiovese and 2 hectares of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cinciano’s wine production team is comprised of five people, and they are the real heart of Cinciano’s wines. They are significant contributors to the quality, success, and honors of these wines.
Andrea Biagini answers our questions.
What does your relationship with Opimian mean to you?
Opimian is a great opportunity and an awesome partner for Cinciano to export its wines in Canada. We reached some great goals together and I believe that we will reach more. In addition, I have the opportunity to work virtually with several awesome people from Opimian and I have a marvelous relationship with them. To sum it up, I think that Opimian is based on a great strong team which perfectly suits the philosophy of Cinciano.
When did you realize that producing wine was your passion?
I started to study agriculture from high school and, during these 5 years, I went deeper into the wine production and I fell in love with it, mainly in Tuscany. I then graduated in viticulture and winemaking from the University of Florence and, after that, I moved to Udine to get a specialized degree in winemaking, in 2015. My aim was to return to Tuscany and, especially, working in the Chianti Classico region, one of the most famous wine regions in the world. When I had the opportunity to get a job at Cinciano I said “Yes, here I come!”
Which of your current wines are you most excited about?
Considering Cinciano and its history I choose the Riserva Camponi (lot 2216); it’s a cru made from grapes from the oldest vineyard of Cinciano. We produce only 3,000 bottles from almost 3 hectares of vines, but it still works well! It is an old style Sangiovese and represents a real example of the history of Sangiovese and, obviously, of Cinciano.
What food pairings would you suggest with your wines?
Our wines go perfectly with roasted, grilled and stuffed meat (you have to try the reds with a T-bone steak, it’s so delicious!) or aged cheese (pecorino cheese). Actually you can pair our wines with whatever you want but, the most important thing, is sharing them with the best company you may have. Wine is sharing, sharing is love.
Tell us a bit about your olive oil?
Beyond the wine production, we have also 45 hectares of olive trees: it’s a tough business but we take care of our olive oil as our baby and it is so special, with a strong flavor and a nice spicy taste that make it so recognizable. We are so proud of it!
What are you doing when you are not making wine or growing grapes?
When not working, I love to travel with my wife and look forward after the end of the pandemic, to continue to travel with my new son. We have been together for 10 years, and we have travelled to more than 30 countries all over the world. Travel is the best way to be open minded and having the chance to change our point of view on several things and understand how we are lucky to be born on the easy side of the world.
What bottle of wine do you have open in your kitchen?
It’s so easy to say Cinciano. At my home I have to take a pause from red wines so I love to taste white wines, mainly if they come from Tuscany, also Friuli, remembering my life there during my university studying period in Udine, or from abroad, from Germany or New Zealand, where I worked for a few months as a harvest cellar worker. I like to taste anything I haven’t tried before or trade Cinciano wines with other wines, from wineries where my friends are working — it is so fun!
Marmellata di fichi – Tuscan Fig and Wine Jam
Figs have been in Tuscany for centuries and are considered an Italian staple. Marmellata di fichi has so many uses! Pair it with pecorino cheese, Parmesan, or gorgonzola on a crostini or as an accompaniment to roast chicken or duck. The wine stands out in this recipe, so use a good quality red wine for this jam.
1 1/2 c. quality red wine
Several sprigs fresh rosemary
2 c. finely chopped fresh figs
3 tbsp pectin
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 – Bring wine and rosemary sprigs to simmer in small saucepan. Turn off heat, cover and steep for 30 mins. Remove rosemary sprigs.
2 – Stir in figs, pectin and lemon juice. Bring mixture to full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly over high heat.
3 – Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to full rolling boil for 1 min.
4 – Pour into clean glass jars and process in boiling water for 10 min. (water-bath canning preserving method)