The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona name is one of the grandest and most revered names in Tuscany. The importance and stature of the Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona family dates back to the Middle Ages, and this name remains one of the most prominent among Sienese nobility. One can even find perched on the ancient family tree a pope's tiara. Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a 15th century scion of this noble family, was crowned pope in 1458 and reigned as Pope Pius II until 1464. He was renowned for his diplomacy, frank open spirit, merciful nature, and enthusiastic patronage of the arts. He was also a poet and writer. His most famous work, Commentaries, remains the only autobiography ever written by a reigning pope, and it is still widely read today. Moreover, he and his family are responsible for revitalizing and transforming his home town of Pienza into one of the finest Renaissance jewels in all of Italy. The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona estate in Brunello di Montalcino is another gem and a family legacy that dates back to the 16th century.
The most recent member of this renowned family, Contessa Elda Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona, died without a direct heir in 1976. In the magnanimous spirit of her ancestor Pius II, the Contessa Elda Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona willed the entire estate, vineyards, olive groves, and 1250 acres to Giuseppe Bianchini, the estate's long time administrator, whom she considered a member of the family.
The erudite Giuseppe Bianchini quickly began transforming his newly acquired domain, a huge estate by Montalcino standards, into one of Montalcino's agrarian masterpieces. When he acquired the property, only a tiny fraction of it was planted in vines – 12 acres to be exact. So Giuseppe began his renovation by planting additional vines in the choicest areas of the estate, most especially in the spectacular tract of land known as Pianrosso that faces south from the winery and slopes down from the palazzo and the commanding hill town of Montalcino to the shimmering Orcia River below. Here, in this southeastern corner of Montalcino, the famous galestro soil of Tuscany works its charm and imbues both polish and power to Ciacci's wines.
Since Giuseppe's passing in 2004, his son Paolo Bianchini has been the guiding force behind Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona's success. The Italian National Amateur Cycling Champion and an expert winemaker, Paolo has with the help of his sister Lucia redoubled the family's effort to renovate this historic property. Moreover, Paolo has succeeded in moving Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona to the top echelon of producers in Montalcino.
Today, the Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona estate counts at least 100 acres under vine. Most of the estate's production is devoted to Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino, but Ciacci also maintains a significant holding in nearby Montecucco, from which the Bianchinis fashion one of the finest wines of this relatively new and up-and-coming appellation. Yields are kept very low at this estate, at least 25% below legal limits. Only organic fertilizers are ever used, and no systemic pesticides are employed. In addition, the ancient Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona estate now contains over 100 acres of olive trees and is home to a bee farm, which draws nectar from the thousands of blossoms that appear throughout the property in the form of acacia, chestnut, clover, and the many other types of flowers planted there.