Castello Monaci is an outstanding Masseria (agritourism), wedding venue and winery, located in the heart of Salento, in Puglia, Italy. It is one of those places you won’t forget regardless of how long or good your trip was.
It was built in 1500 and took its name from the Basilian monks who used it as a place to worship, meditate and give refuge to those in need. Then, a number of noble families chose it as their own residence: from the Martino to the Parry Graniger, up to the Provenzano di Ugento, whose last heir, Mrs. Memmo, is the present castle’s owner.
Six centuries beautifully wore by this fortification, to which history brought many a threat – the last one being during the II World War – yet keeps its charm unaltered and still hedges historic and artistic pieces.
Le Scuderie is the area of the state dedicated to accommodation. What used to be the stables of the castle was extended and refurbished, and nowadays serves as an amazing Masseria (and/or Bed and Breakfast).
All rooms are very spacious and comfortable, have an air conditioner, fridge and a flat-screen TV. Some of them have also a balcony or patio. Original furnishings make every room different, with a selection of locally crafted furniture by Italian designers. The breakfast was also delicious, we ordered beforehand and it was served by the swimming pool early in the morning. The environment was very pleasant and the staff super friendly and attentive.
The swimming pool area is really enjoyable, quiet and relaxing in a natural setting. It is equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas. Last but not least, the bed and breakfast also offers a babysitting service, private parking, bike and car hire.
A visit to the castle, the winery, thevineyards and the wine museum is something you should do by all means. Marco is normally the person in charge of that. He is knowledgeable, easy-going and a great host. He would explain everything about the castle and the wines and will provide anything you need to have a memorable stay.
Winery and museum
The castle’s winery, named simply Castello Monaci Winery, is an outstanding addition to your stay at Le Scuderie. I would strongly recommend it even if you are not staying there. The more time you have to walk around and enjoy the wine state the better. On top of that, a good swim after the tasting is a great way to finish the tour, especially during the summer period.
The winery building is beautiful, made of tuff which provides natural insulation and was originally built in the late1970s byMemmo’s family. It is equipped with modern technology, includinga refrigerated crushing system with small-capacity, double-cell, temperature-controlled steel tanks.Moreover, a spectacular barrel cellar holds more than 1000 barrique and 18 french-oak casks. And it is surrounded by more than 3,000 olive trees and a 200-hectare vineyard.
Since 2000, the estate’s oenologist has been Leonardo Sergio, whose experience and natural conditions of Puglia meet to create high quality, top-rated wines.Castello Monaci wines are named after the legends and myths that remind of the Greek origins of Puglia: Medos, Kreos, Maru, Piluna, Artas and Aiace. They are made with local grapevines such as Primitivo, Negramaro and Lecce’s Malvasia Nera.
In terms of tours, they offer a good variety of them, which are available on their website. Prices start at €20 for a minimal tour and go up to €155, which includes spa tasting and a night at the Masseria.
Next to the winery lies the wine museum, where the tours normally start and end. It was builtin a wine factory of the 1930s and displays a series of elements of historical wine production, plus a photo collection of a local well-knownphotographer,Giuseppe Palumbo,whose plates and films from 1909 to 1932 are kept in the Museo Provinciale of Lecce.
We personally tasted quite a few of them. Our favourites were Aiace (red, Salice Salentino), Heos (white, Fiano) and Kreos (rose, Negroamaro).
Wedding and events venue
The castle’s main business is weddings. People from all over the World go to the heart of Salento, in Puglia, trying to find a unique and exquisite experience.
Over the years the castle team has gained invaluable experience running weddings, so they can arrange almost everything for the right price. Whether it’s summer or winter, inside or outside, day or night and even on Christmas, they will make whatever they can to provide an unforgettable ceremony.
Their dedicated wedding planners would take you through every single detail choice, tailoring with you an event that speaks of your personality and wishes. If you are indecisive, they also provide a range of themed weddings that you can choose from: The Palio, The Light, Wine Wedding, Lemon Tree, Angels and Hearts, Towers Wedding and Shabby.
Prices start at €175, including everything for a standard wedding and all you can drink wine.
And we have good news for single and already married people! Castello Monaci can host many kinds of events, and that is something they normally do as well. Meetings, conventions, parties, banquets and more. They can even host two events simultaneously.