Ours is a fascinating story, as much for its past as for its potential. Rolling Tuscan hills, a medieval borgo village & ancient farmhouses all bear witness to centuries of transformation.

Our history

An estate of culture,
commerce & character

History in the making

History in the making

The story of Villa Saletta spans centuries. The estate has been owned by just four families throughout its history, all notable in their own unique way. The Gambacorta family consolidated the lands around the estate in the 14th century, before it came under ownership to the Riccardi, a wealthy family from Florence and bankers to the famous and powerful house of Medici. The Riccardi transformed Villa Saletta into a true working estate throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was then passed onto the Castelli family.

By the time the Hands family took ownership almost 20 years ago, the estate had almost entirely fallen to ruin – but they saw the potential to reinstate the tradition of an agriculturally diverse, sympathetically managed and self-sufficient estate. Today we blend traditional Tuscan techniques and modern technology, but always grounded in the heritage of the estate.

Reviving tradition

Winemaking was the first focus of the restoration, and huge investment has been made into renovating old vines and planting new plots according to a detailed understanding of the terroir. By blending traditional techniques and attitudes with the tools of modern agronomy, viticulture at Villa Saletta is now amongst some of the most advanced in Italy.

The estate is also producing a range of phenomenal wines, some of which are archetypal examples of the Tuscan style, others which, by virtue of technique, are more reminiscent of the finest Bordeaux crus, but with an unmistakable Italian flair.

Reviving tradition

Our agriculture

The best of
what the land offers

A true 'fattoria'

A true 'fattoria'

Beyond wine we are determined to support biodiversity across the estate, therefore much of the landscape is given over to mixed agricultural use. Partly because we know that the more we can encourage biodiversity and balance in our environment, the bigger the impact on viticulture – and partly because it restores an incredible heritage as a working fattoria, producing the finest raw ingredients Tuscany offers.

Forestry

Forestry

A range of crops are grown across the lowlands, including barley, oats and alfalfa, whilst a vast portion of the hills of the estate are given to sustainable poplar plantations. Indeed, a huge portion of the estate is wooded, with holm oak, black and white poplar, cypress, acacia and hazel in abundance.

Game

Game

Game has always played an important part in the life of Villa Saletta, and whilst some boar are found in the wooded valleys around the estate, it is pheasant shooting that we actively manage today. Curiously this ‘English style’ of shooting has been practiced here for almost two centuries, and Queen Victoria herself was once a guest here during the season.

Herbs & wildflowers

Herbs & wildflowers

We are expanding our cultivation of aromatic herbs in small plots across the landscape, so that guests of Villa Saletta are able to sample the chamomile that grows abundantly across the southern plains of the estate, as well as wild thyme, wild fennel and an array of meadow wildflowers.

Olives

Olives

We are producing a small range of high quality olive oils, reinstating a craft that has been present on the estate since the 17th century. The oils are cold-pressed from olives grown on various plots around the estate, with 23 hectares dedicated to growing leccino, frantoio, moraiolo, pendolino and razzo varieties. This range of varieties creates an incredibly well-structured oil with notable flavours of artichoke and walnut husk and a clean, fresh finish.

Tartufi

Tartufi

The clay soils of Villa Saletta are home to several varieties of truffle, including sought-after black and white varieties, as well as summer and winter tartufi. This rare Tuscan delicacy graces the tables of many local restaurants, best served thinly shaved over fresh tagliatelle with butter.

The next chapter:
Reclaiming the ruins

Our estate is a work in progress. We are on a journey to fully restore this historic fattoria back to the biodiversity and productivity of its past. We aim to continue experimenting with fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, whilst being good stewards of the land. We also plan to turn the historic borgo building into a luxurious hospitality experience, with authenticity and history at its heart.

Visitors, guests & friends

We welcome visitors year-round to come experience our estate, be it a week in one of our peaceful, spacious villas or an afternoon with a guided tour of the magnificent borgo. Contact us for more information.

Contact us