Giglio Island & Its Winemaking History

Explore Giglio Island and its incredible history of viticulture.

Vineyard of Giglio
Winemaking on the Isola of Giglio

Viticulture of Giglio Island

The tradition of making wine on the Island of Giglio precedes the Romans. Archeological evidence demonstrates that wine was produced in Greek-Etruscan, Roman and Byzantine times. The stone terraces, basins carved into the granite, wine amphorae and other artifacts used in the production of wine, suggest that the island has been cultivated since ancient times.



Small vaulted structures made of granite, mortar of lime, sand and cocciopesto can be found throughout the vineyards on the island. Called “capannelli”, these buildings were used by the winemakers as a place of rest and refreshment during the long and tiring days of work in the vineyards, as well as a small house and shed. In the meridian hours during the summer, entering a "capannello" provides workers with a break from the hot sun. The shade and coolness of the small building may also lend themselves to the possibility of a refreshing nap.

Palmenti of Giglio

Palmenti del Giglio

In ancient times, winemaking did not take place in cellars but rather in the “palmenti”: large basins carved into the hard, granite boulders in the vineyards. The palmenti often have an upper and lower basin. The upper basin was used to press the grapes and the lower basin collected the must. The must was then transferred to terracotta amphorae where it completed fermentation and became wine.

Cantine Scarfo' Amy Bond and Cesare Scarfo'

Ansonaco Wine

Today the island's tradition of winemaking continues thanks to vintners who passionately safeguard the ancient terraces. With care and perseverance, they continue to cultivate the vineyards by hand, in order to produce a small quantity of wine. The main type of wine produced in Giglio is Ansonaco.