Page 11 - Code de Vino, #14/20, w/s 2017
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8  Wine Club  Code de Vino #14  Code de Vino #14                                   Maestro Franco Biondi Santi  9
          My grandfather is seen as the first person to make wine from   — Of course, it's a wine for patient people! Our family celebrated
          Brunello grapes in this area. I would like to reiterate that my   a special occasion a few days ago, so we opened a bottle from
          ancestors were involved in winemaking for a long time — since   1891. The wine was over a hundred years old, but it was excellent!
          the 15th century, as you mentioned. But the history of Brunello   We drank half the bottle and left the rest open for two days. When
          di Montalcino started with my grandfather, Ferruccio.  some invited experts and I tried the wine two days later, it seemed
                                                              as though it had opened up even more during that time —
                                                              it's character had become even more apparent. It truly is a wine
          — What is the philosophy of Brunello di Montalcino?  for those who have patience. Although I must admit, not everyone
                                                              can wait a hundred years!
          — The main quality that Brunello demands from its producers
          is patience. The regulations of Brunello production require the wine
          to age for four years from the moment the grapes are harvested.  — Is it true that the oldest wine in your cellar dates back
                                                              to 1888? Or are there even older bottles?
          These regulations are based on studies conducted by my father,
          Tancredi Biondi Santi. They were adopted in 1930, revised in 1960,   — I only have two bottles from 1888 left. It is indeed the oldest wine
          and only took effect in 1967. My father's studies found that four   I have. There are also five bottles from 1891. We opened one
          years of aging in bottles makes for the best wine in Montalcino —   of those recently.
          that the basic aging period. It cannot be drunk any earlier than that.
          The wine can then be stored for a long time afterwards.
          It will remain in perfect condition even after a hundred years.

          — Does that mean that people who drink this wine also have
          to be patient? Would you say it's not meant for those who
          are in a rush?

 Biondi Santi Manor in Greppo

 — Mr. Santi, we are currently at Villa Greppo, your family's   I must also mention the terrible disaster that befell Italian
 villa. It was built by your grandfather, the famous Ferruccio   winemaking at the time: almost every vineyard became infested
 Biondi Santi. What's the idea behind this place, what makes   with the phylloxera aphid. Ferruccio began to study the disease
 it so special?  that had spread from America alongside possible ways to combat
 it to cure the vineyards.
 — We specialize in making wines of exceptional quality. It's our
 family tradition. Our family tree is very old — there are mentions   One of the most effective methods he discovered was to take the
 of it in documents from the early 18th century. The female line   roots of wild American grapes, since that's where the disease had
 starts with Catherine Santi, who married Mr. Jacopo Biondi. That's   come from, and graft local grape varieties onto them. The taste
 where the double surname comes from. The first mentions of their   and quality of the local wines stayed the same despite the new
 family appear in documents from 1726.  roots. It made Ferruccio Biondi Santi very famous.

 — There is also information tracing your family roots back to
 the 15th century.
 — True, but it was the early 18th century when Catherine Santi
 married Mr. Biondi, and the family officially started making wine.
 That's when the Biondi Santi double surname appeared. My earlier
 ancestors were engaged in winemaking since the 15th century.
 And that's no surprise — Montalcino has been famed for its wine
 for a very long time. Some historical records mention wine
 production here back in the 14th and even 13th centuries.
 The history of this villa dates back to the middle of the 19th century
 when my grandfather Ferruccio Biondi Santi — whom you've
 already mentioned — developed an interest in winemaking and
 began studying it. He learned a lot from his uncle Clemente Santi
 who was a renowned winemaker. Clemente Santi was the first
 person in the family to receive an international award at a wine
 competition in Paris in 1867. In 1884, the wine made by my
 grandfather Ferruccio Biondi Santi received that same award.
 His wine was of exceptional quality. It was awarded a silver medal   Ferrucho Biondi Santi created the style
 at that exhibition. It was named the "Highest-quality red wine.  of Brunello di Montalcino wines  Biondi Santi wines are perfect even after 100 years
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