The earliest known descriptions of the rolling hills surrounding the estate date all the way back to the 13th century. As it was then, so it remains today an area of great potential agriculturally and economically. Although olive groves and vineyards are a permanent fixture of the landscape, other more seasonal crops, such as wheat, the Indian pea and fava beans, have also traditionally contributed to the local economy.
From 1500s to 1800s
The raising of prized pigs in the woods and the farming of sheep and goats provided the protein needed by the people of Suvignano. Since the 16th century, sheep’s milk has been used to make “cascio di creta”, a cheese that is enjoyed throughout the Siena region. Numerous mills along the Sorra and Stile rivers were used to produce grain. The earliest known document about the area dates back to 1081 and refers to the lands of “Savignano”, which is essentially the modern-day Tenuta Suvignano estate. This document was a deed of sale between a certain Count Ugolino and his brother Ranieri, of the late Count Ranieri. The name “Sovignano” then appears a great many times over the ensuing centuries, becoming a community in 1235 and then a “comunello autonomo” (lit. “small autonomous municipality”) in 1256. As early as 1320, it appears as a small village that encompassed the Church of Santo Stefano and a number of homes and farmhouses scattered between Casalino and Querceto. There is also reference to a “castelletto” (lit. “small castle”), likely a fortified structure like so many others that dotted the landscape here. Over the centuries, the main building, what we now call the “casino di caccia” (“hunting lodge”), changed hands from the Nini family, from Siena, to the Piccolomini family and then to the Marri-Mignanelli family in 1646. Although it was refurbished on multiple occasions between 1772 and 1830, the villa maintained, in whole or in part, its original, three-storey (18-room) structure. However, in 1880, when the property was inherited by Lattanzio Marri, the building was transformed and registered as a “4-storey, 45-room holiday home”.
1900s to present day
And so it remained through the various transfers of ownership until it was acquired by Vincenzo Piazza in 1989, who purchased the entire Tenuta Suvignano estate and established the Buonconvento farm, which brings us to the present day. With the initial sequestration by Giovanni Falcone, the estate was taken away from the Italian mafia. Eventually, between 2007 and 2019, this sequestration was made definitive and the estate was entrusted to the Region of Tuscany, and, ultimately, returned to the community.