Frescobaldi buys vineyard from controversial business and former sports tycoon

The ancient Tuscan wine dynasty acquires a vineyard in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from Sergio Cragnotti.

The Corte della Flora wine estate in Tuscany was bought by Frescobaldi
The Corte della Flora wine estate in Tuscany was bought by Frescobaldi

The Frescobaldi family made its first investment in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano area with the purchase of the 60ha Corte alla Flora estate, including 30 ha of vines: Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) – for the Nobile wines - Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. 

The winery’s previous owner was the 81-year-old Roman entrepreneur Sergio Cragnotti, former head of the giant Cirio food conglomerate and, from 1992, owner of the S.S.Lazio football club. His success there after pumping in millions of euros to buy top players included victory in the Coppa Italia, Cup Winner’s Cup and European Super Cup.

Cragnotti bought the estate in 1990, when it covered 90ha but had no vines until he planted 35ha. Twelve years later, he was quoted as saying that he produced around 100,000 bottles of wine annually. However, this was also a time when other aspects of his businesses went through troubled times. There was a default of Cirio bonds, Lazio player wages went unpaid and the Cragnotti empire was subject to official investigation. In 2003, his role at Lazio came to an end. The Tuscany-based British writer and consultant Monty Waldin reported that It would appear the wine estate was registered in the name of Sergio Cragnotti’s wife, Flora Pizzicheni.


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