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The "Tenuta Il Greppo di Franco Biondi Santi" was founded in 1840 two kilometres south of the town of Montalcino in the Italian region of Tuscany by Clemente Santi (1795-1885). The name "Il Greppo" comes from the steep slopes on the site. The founder's daughter Caterina Santi and Jacopo Biondi continued to expand the winery. Their son Ferruccio Biondi-Santi (1848-1916) continued the efforts already begun by his grandfather to select high-quality Sangiovese vines. He finally created the Sangiovese variety Brunello and in 1888 produced a dry red wine in the style of Barolo for the first time, which later became famous as the DOCG red wine Brunello di Montalcino. Until after the Second World War, this was produced commercially exclusively by the house of Biondi-Santi. Ferruccio introduced an extremely elaborate cellar technique for the Riserva version, which was consistently continued by his son Tancredi
The outstanding Brunello Riserva vintages from vines at least 25 years old were produced with a long fermentation period and five to six years of barrel ageing. In the first 57 years, these only existed in 1888, 1891, 1925 and 1945. During the Second World War (1939-1945), Franco Biondi-Santi (1922-2013) helped his father Tancredi to wall up the old Riservas just before the front passed through the area in 1944. He took over the business in 1970, keeping to his father's traditions while improving the quality. He was always an advocate of 100% varietal Sangiovese Brunello di Montalcino, even in times when his wines were considered old-fashioned. He then handed over the reins to his son Jacopo Biondi-Santi at the end of the 1990s. The wine author Burton Anderson was inspired to write about wine by a visit to a winery. He published the book: "Biondi Santi: the family that created Brunello di Montalcino" in 1988. In 1988, the estate was transformed into a limited company, with family descendants still in charge
The vineyards cover 18 hectares and are planted exclusively with the red wine variety Brunello. Around 70,000 bottles are produced annually. The first Brunello vintages of 1888 and 1891, which are still available today, as well as the outstanding vintages of 1945, 1955, 1964, 1971, 1975, 1982, 1983 and 1990 are offered at true fantasy prices. The winery is one of the few Brunello producers to carry out the special service of ricolmatura (refilling), in which the best vintages are refilled and re-corked after ten years or more in the bottles. The house's product range also includes the DOC red wine Rosso di Montalcino (pictured right).
Franco Biondi-Santi: By Paolo Tenti - Own Work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Bottle: By Renzo Grosso - Obra do próprio, CC BY-SA 3.0, Hiperligação