Fiona and Hal Barnett, Barnett Winemaker David Tate and Dallas-based Private Equity Real Estate Investor, Dean Macfarlan, Introduce New Italian Wine Project
(St. Helena, Calif. and Casole d’Elsa, Italy) October 7, 2019 – Fiona and Hal Barnett, Barnett Vineyards Winemaker David Tate and Dallas-based private equity real estate investor, Dean Macfarlan, today announced that they will debut La Caccia di San Giovanni (“La Caccia”), a new Super Tuscan wine, in the U.S. in October 2019.
In 2017, the team acquired San Giovanni farm and villa comprising 133 acres of historic property, 19 of which are planted to vineyard, near Siena, Italy. Located within a vast hunting preserve, the property is surrounded by classic Italian farms and farmhouses and a Medieval castle that dates back to 998. The castle, now the five-star Belmond Castello de Casole, abuts San Giovanni’s property, and wooded walking paths, olive groves and vineyards abound. The partners also share a six bedroom, six and a half bath 7,500 square foot villa on the San Giovanni property.
Virgin Vineyard Land and Non-Interventionist Winemaking
La Caccia’s entire vineyard property is organic, as are the surrounding 2500 acres, making it one of the few truly natural areas of Tuscany. Unspoiled forests are interspersed with small fields where grazing is done in the wild, providing “virgin” soils of great organic sustenance. The rocky soil is a mix of sand and clay, and the grapes are harvested entirely by hand. Winemaker David Tate makes the wines in a similarly non-interventionist style to those at Barnett Vineyards, preferring the wines to be a natural expression of the variety, terroir and vintage. The first vintage of La Caccia, the 2017, is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Sangiovese and 10% Petit Verdot. The fermentation is done in very small lots with longer maceration than normal for Tuscany. 50% new oak is used, another rarity in Tuscany, but Tate feels that the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties like Petit Verdot warrants its use.
A New Destination in Tuscany
2020 will bring a new tasting room for La Caccia in Casole d’Elsa adjacent to the San Giovanni villa. Barnett Wines will also be poured and sold, bringing a taste of the Napa Valley to Tuscany.
The tasting room is warm and inviting and features local Italian designers and vendors whenever possible. Alabaster for light fixtures is mined from nearby Arezzo, and heirloom furniture was sought out to complement some of the original stone walls.
Tuscany by Way of Texas and Spring Mountain, Napa Valley
Dean Macfarlan, founder of Macfarlan Capital Partners, a Dallas-based private equity real estate investment firm, his wife Tawney, and Fiona and Hal Barnett have been friends for four decades, and in 2017, when the opportunity to buy land in Tuscany presented itself, the trio—all passionate about Italian wine—along with Tate, jumped at the chance. The group’s shared vision was to create a Super Tuscan wine, melding the Barnett’s and Tate’s multiple decades of vineyard stewardship and winemaking experience, with Dean’s real estate and development acumen. The result is a powerful, yet finessed wine, a charming tasting room and a shared six-bedroom villa—all designed to be enjoyed by family and friends.
The Barnett’s wine experience dates back to 1983, when Hal and Fiona Barnett purchased 40 acres of raw, undeveloped land 2000 feet above sea level in the northern hills of the Napa Valley. The following year, the Barnett family designed, terraced and planted 14-acres of vineyards. Today, Barnett produces approximately 7,000 cases of estate-grown, hand-farmed wines as well as single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay bottlings under Tate’s expert guidance.
La Caccia di San Giovanni will be sold and distributed by Barnett Vineyards and will be available, at the winery, online (www.lacacciavino.com) and through Barnett’s mailing list. Both Barnett wines and La Caccia will be sold at the new tasting room in Italy, which will open in October 2019. The first vintage, the 2017, will be 600 cases and will retail for $50 per bottle.