Some estate agencies covering property in Tuscany, including vineyard estates, have reported a busy few weeks in general, despite the Covid-19 crisis.
‘We didn’t expect the real estate market to come back so quickly,’ said Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, head of sales for central and southern Italy at Sotheby’s International Realty.
Gemma Bruce, MD and cofounder of Casa & Country, told Decanter.com that prospective buyers were reassessing their lifestyles.
‘Off the back of the pandemic, people are wanting property with agricultural land. If they can have vines [as well] then that’s great.’
She said recent interest included London-based buyers who have renegotiated terms with employers to enable to them to relocate and work remotely more often.
As in other wine regions, choosing a vineyard property in Tuscany depends on the motivation of buyers; whether it’s a commercial venture or lifestyle choice, and whether you want established vines in a DOC or DOCG zone.
‘Our kind of buyers are people who have a big passion [for wine],’ said Giorgolo Spinola. ‘They want to buy something that has a farmhouse or a villa with a small production of wine.’
What are the prices?
To give broader context, the publication winenews.it estimated last year that Chianti Classico vineyards cost around €170,000 per hectare, and up to €200,000 for the best plots. Across Italy, vineyards were around €30,000 per hectare on average, it said.
As in many regions, prices vary according to the amount of investment required, or the prestige of the vineyard area.
In Tuscany, a cottage with two to three hectares (ha) of vines could cost around €2m-€3m, said Giorgolo Spinola.
It’s also possible to spend more, as shown by this Sotheby’s listing of a farmhouse estate complete with 6.5ha of DOCG vines in the heart of Chianti Classico country, priced at €6.2m.
Bruce said there was sometimes room for a degree of negotiation on prices, but it depends upon the property.
Examples of estates currently listed by Casa & Country include a €1.5m villa with six hectares of vines and panoramic views near to San Gimignano.
Among the higher-priced estates is this castle with 16.5ha of vines – including 3ha within the Chianti Classico DOCG – and a fully working winery, listed at €7m.
For wealthy prospective buyers with wine tourism ambitions, The Romolini Immobiliere agency, an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, was listing a 41-hectare ‘wine resort’ with a swimming pool, a 19-bedroom ‘relais’ and 9ha of vines for €6.5m.
Things to consider
Bruce said vines were often ‘the cherry on the cake’ for lifestyle buyers, but both she and Giorgolo Spinola at Sotheby’s said there was also a trend for passionate wine lovers to seek properties that would allow them to make small quantities of their own high quality wine, not necessarily for commercial sale.
Bruce said some properties contained dormant winemaking facilities. Others have vines – sometimes in certified DOC or DOCG zones – and ‘for whatever reason, haven’t produced wines to the quality they could do’.
She added that some properties come with vine planting rights, and this was important to consider. Due to regulations, ‘you can’t just buy a property and plant vines,’ she said.
Giorgolo Spinola said that properties with organic vineyards were strongly in-demand among private clients. She said the most sought-after areas tended to be the relatively large Chianti zone, plus Montepulciano.
More buyers were also looking in Maremma in southern Tuscany, which has less famous vineyards but is also near to the coast and 90 minutes from Rome international airport, she added.