Brunello di Montalcino was developed in the second half of the 19th Century, when Clemente Santi began to study the potential of a variety of the Sangiovese grape, the Sangiovese Grosso, which was known as Brunello locally due to the particularly dark colour of the grapes.
Then, around 1860, Clemente’s grandson Ferrucio Biondi Santi began to produce a red wine which clearly had excellent qualities. Over 150 years later the story of Brunello continues with Dr. Franco Biondi Santi. Although he is now 91 years old, his age does not stop him from constantly striving to improve the quality of the Brunello from his Greppo estate. “Wine Spectator”, one of the wine world’s most important magazines, included the Brunello di Montalcino Biondi Santi Reserve 1955 among the 12 best wines produced in the world during the last century, the only Italian wine on the list. The grapes are all hand-picked and the grape pickers select the grapes bunch by bunch, selecting only the very best ones for the production of the future Brunello. The “Riserva” is produced from Greppo’s Sangiovese vineyards of at least 25 years of age, and is made only in exceptionally good years, whereas the “Vintage” wine is made from grapes grown in vineyards which are over ten years old.