The History of Brunello di Montalcino Wine

The History of Brunello di Montalcino Wine

La città di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino has become synonymous with quality and is considered one of the most important Italian wines recognized both nationally and internationally. If we want to find the source of this renowned Tuscan tradition, we will need to go back to the 18th century. Wine production in the area was already quite established and appreciated in the area, but it was the chemist and pharmacist Clemente Santi who selected the Sangiovese Grosso, a clone of the Sangiovese, which led to the production of a superior quality wine – Brunello di Montalcino. This wine makes its appearance 20 years later in Siena thanks to the production of Clemente’s grandson, Ferruccio Biondi-Santi. The vintages were 1863 and 1865. It was then and is now a wine that does not go unnoticed. This led to the recognition of the vine itself with more and more research invested to create a superior wine for aging.

At the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century however, it was considered a drink only for connoisseurs. Produced in limited edition but still retaining its prestigious quality.

Post WWII, the Brunello di Montalcino has a few difficult decades as the production became increasingly rare due to the general decay in wine production of the times. The cost of producing this wine also increased dramatically. It was only in the 1960’s that this wine regained its consistent production.  It is a period of rebirth and diffusion for the Brunello di Montalcino in 1966 when the wine was granted the DOC certification. Together with the creation of its consortium, a decisive step was taken towards building a reputation with the general public – the cellars were upgraded and vineyards converted once again to Brunello di Montalcino. The golden age of marketing and development began with mass commercialization of the product, and even more so in 1980 when the wine was granted yet another certification – that of DOCG. This was a first at the time in Italy.

Success came natural thereafter, making Brunello di Montalcino a symbol of Italian quality.