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Località Casisano, 52
53024 Montalcino SI

Among the many places that have made Italy famous and unique for its beauty and authenticity is Montalcino. Undoubtedly some credit must go to Mario Soldati and Luigi Veronelli, the greatest masters of Italian journalism and food and wine criticism. Their destinies crossed many a time, and one of the most fortuitous encounters was in the land of Brunello. They anticipated the times with keen intuitions and were the first to narrate Italy’s rich agricultural landscapes, foods and cultivations.

The first historic encounter was in 1970 when they participated together in the ritual of “topping up” the wine from the same vintage as the old Brunello Reserves at Tenuta Greppo. The unique practice of topping up was created here at the end of the 19th century and essentially extended the life of a wine for decades. The process involved uncorking and refilling the bottles back to their proper level and recorking. The first time it took place was in 1927 for the 1888 and 1891 Reserves.

Veronelli would go on to tell his readers of the “perfect tasting” (among the Reserves there was also a 1955 vintage, considered one of the best wines of the twentieth century by “Wine Spectator”). He explained how these are the wines you can spend a lifetime looking for and how “every good taste of Brunello reminds me of Gustav Mahler “. Soldati would find confirmation of how “Brunello can age virtually indefinitely, improving, I dare say, always”.

In “Vino al Vino”, his most important work, he reflected on the origin of Brunello’s considerable “fortune”. Soldati maintained that it not only in the wine’s longevity but also in the beauty of a territory suited to excellent wines. A unique mix of climate, soil, rich biodiversity, woodlands, olive groves and cultivated fields plays a role, as does the pioneering intuition which led to the delimitation of the production boundaries to the territory of Montalcino in the 30s.

What makes a case for Brunello all the more exciting is that all of this resulted from “modern” invention. Agriculture enlightened by academic studies led to the simple yet brilliant choice of a single grape, Sangiovese Grosso. Thus, Brunello distinguished itself from other wines by looking at the French benchmark: the fruit of one, but at the base of collective success.

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