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History of Tenuta Sovestro and the Failli family

The birth of the Tenuta Sovestro
- by Alessia e Barbara

The farm and agritourism Tenuta Sovestro is very young, was born only in 2017, but our history has its roots in those of our family, back in 1962 when our great-grandfather Gianni Testi whose nickname was Brinchio (a well-loved character from San Gimignano and a cattle trader) bought a six-hectare farm called "Podere della curva dell’Esse" with a rustic farmhouse overlooking a valley on the way into San Gimignano. Like the small local producers we work with today, here Brinchio and his family reared livestock including the famous white Tuscan Chianina cows, grew grapes for Chianti wine and wheat, tilling the fields in the old way by an ox-drawn cart. With this move, our great-grandfather started it all. Either he had good luck or great instincts.
Meanwhile at the same time Sergio, Brinchio’s young grandson, impassioned by the idea of a future career in hospitality, attended hotel management school and began his training in the field by working as a waiter in restaurants both in Italy and abroad. After Brinchio’s farmhouse was restructured between 1965 and 1966, it drew many admirers not only because it (and the idyllic farm) were conceived entirely according to Tuscan traditions, but because it stood in an excellent hilltop position. On one side was the main road linking San Gimignano and Poggibonsi and, on the other, a few meters from Via Vecchia, the scenic route that follows the undulating profile of the hills into the ancient medieval town, famous for its stone towers, considered - then and now - one of the most beautiful in Italy.
Brinchio received repeated offers to sell his “podere”, but he always refused, choosing to keep the property to pass onto his grandson - in whom he saw great things - so that one day Sergio could open his own restaurant. And that's exactly what happened.

Until the early 1980s, Sovestro was managed as a sharecrop by the talented Fantaccini family. Later, our father Sergio together with our grandfather Alfredo (called Pode for short) and our mother Lucia, began renovating the farmhouse also making external changes and improvements, with the same hard work and sacrifice with which Brinchio had built his farm. That was how in July 1985, after finishing work, the new adventure began with the opening of the Restaurant da Pode, the first of the 3 current companies of our family, followed by the birth of the Hotel Sovestro in 1994 and then the farmhouse At breakfast, or lunch and dinner, when you choose to sit at a table, you can see how the structure of our restaurant, 70 meters far from the farmhouse, has maintained the appearance of the one-time typical country houses , and inside, around the halls, you can relive the history and traditions of our roots thanks to the objects and tools of the peasant past culture .
The Tenuta is the ideal continuation of this Tuscan tradition, that can be found in the splendor of its typical Tuscan farmhouse, where peasant families lived, with all its history and the agricultural activity that surrounds it.
Nowadays, the history of the Failli family, the restaurant, the hotel and the farm continues through us, between tradition and innovation.