Dating back to Medieval times, the twice annual Palio di Siena horse race is a deeply entrenched part of Tuscan (and Italian) tradition that has won fans from all over the world. Participants in the race represent the different neighborhoods of the Tuscan town of Siena, using whatever means necessary to win the race, to the amusement of the crowd.
San Lazzaro shares the Palio spirit. By organizing a fierce competition between Italian vineyards, we select the very best wines, looking for characteristic features that typify the wine in question while meeting strict quality criteria. Only the champions, the winning wineries, may display their colorful flags on the San Lazzaro label…until the next contest.
We are true Italian wine lovers, and we want to show the rest of the world what Italy has to offer. We take the consumer to each chosen Italian region and tell the story behind the wines. But wherever we go and whatever we drink, you will find a wine imbued with the Italian values of tradition, family, good food, good flavors…and flair.
The modern incarnation of the Palio di Siena, known locally simply as Il Palio, dates back to 1633. Ten horses and riders, riding bareback dressed in the colors representing their “contrade” (city ward) circle the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid. The race only lasts three laps, usually no more than 90 seconds. It is common for a few of the jockeys to be thrown from their horses while making the piazza’s treacherously tight turns, and indeed, it is not unusual to see unmounted horses finishing the race without their jockeys. This spectacle attracts spectators from around the world.
The passion surrounding this race is what inspires San Lazzaro wines.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE BRAND
The race for winning wines.
Italy values tradition, passion and style – the trademarks of quality wines. Wine lovers, however, often have difficulties finding their way through the complex and varied assortment of Italian offerings. We created San Lazzaro to help wine lovers find new wines to love while celebrating the best of what Italy has to offer.
San Lazzaro represents all Italian wine regions, differentiating itself from the competition. Furthermore, what makes San Lazzaro special is its philosophy of challenging wine makers. The Palio inspiration allows us to each year select highly rated wineries whose colors we want to display on our labels, sharing their original stories.
Our winemakers work with well-known varietals, making finding your favorites easier, and offer quality at an accessible price. Choose between three ranges at three different price points – Tradizione, Collezione and Prestigio – to find the right wine for each occasion.
ABOUT THE VINEYARDS & WINES
San Lazzaro chooses top wines from regions all over Italy, featuring different wines from different regions each year. Wherever the wine is from, we always seek out the best winemakers, who know how to bring the potential of the selected grapes to full fruition. This year, the winning wines in each of our three quality ranges come from, respectively, Sicily, Puglia and Tuscany.
Pinot Grigio Tradizione
Pinot Grigio has only recently been introduced to Sicily, whose Mediterranean island climate and mineral-rich dark soils offer the perfect ripening conditions, producing a unique style of this popular grape variety. The Pinot Grigio grapes are carefully harvested in the early summer, when the grapes are still crisp with a lively acidity.
Though you’ll occasionally find this grape in Salento, Negroamaro is almost exclusively grown in the Puglia region, the peninsula referred to as the “heel” of boot-shaped Italy. After a careful selection by hand, the grapes are vinified following the traditional method, producing deep red wines with intense aromas and savory spices.
This is Tuscany at its best: specially selected Chianti vineyards, whose sandy Tuscan soil is rich in clay and calcium, and vinification methods going back centuries, where completely mature grapes are harvested from vineyards and processed in membrane presses. The result: full-bodied wines with elegant aromas.