The Gentleman of Brunello.

Franco Biondi Santi Remembered.

Franco Biondi-Santi at Il GreppoIf you know of Brunello di Montalcino, the Tuscan benchmark for world-class wine, it is due to the efforts of Franco Biondi Santi and his family. The stately “gentleman of Brunello” passed away in April of 2013 at the age of 91, less than a year after we met at his beloved ancestral estate Tenuta Il Greppo.

To arrive at his home, we passed through a majestic evergreen tunnel of 300-year-old cypress trees and I found myself wondering how many before had traversed this narrow tree-lined lane. In Mr. Biondi Santi’s autobiography he recounts his perilous trip home from the French border during World War II. “In my mind’s eye” he wrote, “I can still see my father waiting for me at Il Greppo as I walk down the cypress-lined avenue.”

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