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Biondi Santi: «The terroir»

by Friday, August 6, 2010

Jacopo Biondi Santi

In their bottles of Brunello di Montalcino is there really the whole story of this wine. They are the Biondi Santi, the Brunello have literally invented, shortly after the second half of the 19th century. There was a continual work in the countryside but also "on the street", to introduce this unique product worldwide, always respecting tradition and image. Fame and Blazon of this wine, symbol not only of those who can afford it but also Italian winemaking excellence, It is not only the work of a skillful marketing activities, anything. Is the bouquet of emotions within a SIP, his secret. The effect that makes, sums it up nicely Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, Prince of Venosa, that in 1966, After I Uncorked a bottle of Brunello Biondi Santi, could not do not take pen and paper and describe it as a wine of superior quality and that it will consider one of the great Italian wines – almost the only?! – I would define, a modo mio, a majestic Red, Severus, male, medieval, a “Sienese primitive” to make comparison with the art that is made in the same part of Italy native».

But let's jump back in history. The activity of Biondi Santi wine starts in the first half of the nineteenth century on the estate del Greppo with the founder of this illustrious family, Clemente Santi, great-great-grandfather of the current owner Franco Biondi Santi. To pick up the baton was the daughter Catherine, married to Jacopo Biondi, and then with their son Ferruccio, painter, Garibaldi, Valente him and winemaker. He was to locate and select a clone of Sangiovese grosso, the local Sangiovese mutation particularly fine, from very rich colored berries, and extracts of total acidity. So, at the end of the nineteenth century, in the shadow of its vineyards of Greppo, NE vinificò in purity the grapes, getting a wine of great structure and elegance: Brunello di Montalcino. But Ferruccio again detain not here: sistemizzò the production Protocol, and he was one of the inspirations and promoters of the specification. A valuable legacy which is then passed into the hands of Biondi Santi and Tancredi, today, by Franco Biondi Santi, the "big old Brunello", and his son Jacopo, to whom we owe the creation of famous Sassalloro, new interpretation of the Sangiovese, now entered Empyrean most prestigious labels.

For this if talking is one as Jacopo Biondi Santi there you can only stop to listen and to reflect. «Dl wine in the world today lack reference points. The crisis is apparent and is due to market saturation, but not only. The products currently on the market are done well, but have neither character nor zoning». He is well aware that instead conducted a study to map the relationships that you establish between the varieties cultivated, environmental characteristics, and the action of man, in order to evaluate the production potential and of the different ecosystems wine quality. "We have to go back to give personality to its wines: all have gone behind the guides, without thinking about the territory and then cloned products worldwide. A wine zoned on the territory, Instead, It is not playable anywhere else. I Repeat, producers should go back to making wine of their areas, which wines to drink and territory where people succeed so to justify a higher price of the bottles».

For its Brunello di Montalcino, As a matter of fact, It was never discussed on the price, at least not after drunk. The winemaking style is unique, and the same for decades. All wines of Il Greppo originate from grapes grown in the twenty hectares of vineyards owned by, and the Brunello Riserva exclusively from vineyards more than 25 years of age. And to preserve the characteristics of the clone of Sangiovese grosso selected by Ferruccio Biondi Santi in 1870, the new vineyards are always grafted buds taken from old plants.

«My microzonale study has led me to a clone of French Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that has given outstanding results. With these, We created the Montepaone, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Morion, 100% Merlot». The first, product in 25,000 bottles, the second in 7,000. Two new wines that come from another family estate, the Castello di Montepò in Scansano, in Maremma, 52 hectares of vineyards dominated by the imposing structure of the Manor, a rare example of a fortified Sienese villa Renaissance. The total of Biondi Santi is produced almost 600 thousand bottles per year, of which 500 thousand produced in Montalcino and Maremma 85mila.

For the only family in the world to have given its name to a wine, excellence and made in Italy are the watchwords (Although first and foremost is the attachment to the land), enough to be among the protagonists of Altagamma, the Foundation chaired by Santo Versace and entirely devoted to the promotion of Italian excellence. «Join Altagamma – Biondi Santi explains – is a very important thing for our image and to network with the other great Italian brands in order to present together the Italian life style, that is the way of living more "envied" in the world. The Italy, of the rest, is synonymous of class and style for all, everywhere». But wine, in General, requires more effort in communication, because it is a less immediate product of a dress: «The Italian wine is a jewel that you have to bring». Ipse dixit.

(my article on Vie del Gusto August 2010)

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