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The estate of Cusona is mentioned in historical documents as early as 994, at which time it was the property of the Lords of Bibbiano. Situated beside the river Elsa, between S. Gimignano and Poggibonsi (Poggio Binizi) it constituted an important communications link along the Francigena road for travellers passing between Rome and France. On one of its farms the traces can still be seen of an ancient manor belonging to the Order Gerosolimitano of St. John. The first real-estate register of Fiorence, dated 1427, shows that Cusona's villa belonged to Bard's family: house with a tower for residence, vegetable garden and grape arbor: "produces per year about three barrels of white wine", Vernaccia grapes. Since 1503 it was the first istallation of Vernaccia vineyard, By Angelo Bardi. It shows from documents that Vernaccia grape was intensely cultivated in the S. Gimignano's territory in a special way by Bard's family of Cusona. In 1524 Count Girolamo Guicciardini married Costanza bardi, receiving as her dowry the estate of Cusona: "beautiful dwelling, beautiful possession" numbering eleven farms. Since then the Cusona estate has always belonges to Guicciardini Counts. A fine Vernaccia vineyard was planted by Girolamo on the Poggio farm at the expense of more than 190 ducats. In 1750 Francesco Guicciardini began a grandiose transformation diverting the river Elsa through a canal 500 meters long, reciaiming the plain, restoring the villa and surrounding it with vinayard after vinayard formed like herring-bones or contouring the hillsides. Cusona was then a frequent stop of the grand duke Ferdinando III of Lorena. In 1850 the large cellar was built, with underground galleries still worth while to be visited: and the estate reached its full grandeur. Cosimo Ridolfi, the famous state man, write in his short poem "La villegiatura di Cusona" (Florence 1822) like this: "Sacred to studies of peace and friendship rich of Baccus gifts and of Vertunno's forgotten the noise of city in you is wise to cheer fall", But it was Francesco Guicciardini, Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs from 1906 to 1909 who completed the work, by turning Cusona into a model farm with a national reputation. He was among the first to begin the process of reconstruction of the vineas using American roots to cpmbat Philoxera disease. At present the realisation of the new plantations of Vernaccia and Chianti vineyards, carry on and increase the tradition, never interrupted, of wines which are the pride of the Cusona's estate.

Area : Val d Elsa
Tipology : Agriturismo
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