Allegrini 2024

The future of Argiano: a Renaissance winery, a cellar of historical reserves and, soon, a museum

After the private, and millionaire investment, the now restored Renaissance Villa-winery looks to the future as a Château in the Brunello vineyards

“I cleansed myself with the wine of Argiano, which is so very good”. At the end of the nineteenth century, Giosuè Carducci, one of the greatest Italian poets, entrusted his praise to verses. He could not perhaps have imagined that centuries later, what would become Brunello di Montalcino, could still be tasted in Argiano, in the same Renaissance Villa that had hosted him. The Villa has always belonged to noble families. It was built on a project by one of the greatest architects of all time, Baldassarre Peruzzi, in a winery-museum and next to the finest French wines. “The restoration work has been completed, and, thanks to a private, and millionaire investment, the Renaissance winery now houses a truly prestigious collection, including Brunello di Argiano historical reserves, all vintages from the 1960s to today, and wineries that have made the history of the Denomination and its territory (Biondi Santi, Il Poggione, Castello Banfi, Col d'Orcia, Casanova di Neri and Val di Cava, to name just a few). Works of art in the bottle that are enriched by great French wines, such as Premier Grand Cru Classè of Bordeaux, Château Lafite, Haut-Brion, Cheval Blanc, Margaux, and Château d'Yquem, and of Burgundy, from the first decades of the twentieth century”, Sani told WineNews. Bernardino Sani is the CEO and winemaker of the Estate, one of the oldest companies of Brunello in Montalcino. The company is owned by the Brazilian entrepreneur, Andrè Esteves, on the Forbes billionaires list, a collector of wines and Renaissance art, and an aficionado of Italy. Sani further explained, “from the Renaissance winery to the stately Villa, the restoration encompassed 5.000 square meters. In addition, like a French Château, in the future, next to the workplaces and private homes, our idea is to host a noble, cultural project that enhances the territory. For instance, a museum dedicated to its history, to Argiano and its project, and to the families who owned it, hosting works of art from their eras, and including tour visits”.
In the Italian wine world, there are many examples of ancient villas of noble families who, besides maintaining the same property over the centuries, still retain their vocation for agricultural production, often their own wine. The territory of Montalcino is not as rich, but its history is just as important, and the dispute between the Guelph Florence and the Ghibelline Siena was more linked to armies, sieges and Castles, as well as to a medieval historical-artistic heritage. But, even though the Villa of Argiano is unique, now restored and brought back to its former glory by the new owner (since 2013, when he bought it from Noemi Marone Cinzano), its origins were an alternative to the nearby ancient Castle; an elegant, modern and self-celebrating Villa, commissioned by the noble Pecci family from Siena, in the sixteenth century. The Villa was very well known in the following centuries, starting from the construction of the winery. However, it was in the nineteenth century that, thanks to the owner Ersilia Caetani Lovatelli, the first woman to enter the Italian Academy of the Lincei, the production of Argiano wines began to be appreciated abroad, and the Villa became a literary parlor, hosting some of the most important Italian poets, such as Carducci. Today, many famous people continue to come here. The Estate has been the backdrop to films, documentaries, and TV series followed by millions of viewers all over the world. It is one of the most famous brands of Italian wine, a winery, a wine resort and now a villa-museum, surrounded by its 125 hectares of olive groves and vineyards (58 hectares of vineyards, of which 22 Brunello), for a production of 250-300.000 bottles, of which 100.000 Brunello, 35% shipped to the US market, one of the 45 countries around the world where its wines narrate all of this in the glass.

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