Traditional winemaking techniques that the family has favored for more than four decades
Like his father Mario, Andrea Borghi is primarily a self-taught winemaker who has learned the business through the tradition of generational hand down of information, not unusual in Italian winemaking families. However, Andrea does employ the consulting services of Michele Camini, a well-known and highly praised winemaker who is a graduate of the respected Institute of Technology and Agriculture in Siena. Camini started in 1995 with the Monetcucco Co-op and worked later at Villa Artimino. She has consulted with the Borghi family since 2004 and brings a modern approach to the traditional winemaking techniques that the family has favored for more than four decades. At La Manella, the husband and wife team of Marco and Patrizia Cortonesi control the destinies of their Brunello-based winery. Marco is winemaker and Patrizia manages the vineyard operations for the small winery. Marco has a Masters in Oenology from the Institute of Technology and Agriculture in Siena, the Tuscan equivalent of the University of California Davis. Since La Manella’ first release in 1990, Marco Cortonesi has applied a modern approach and sophisticated wine techniques to his winery's production of a deep and powerful Brunello di Montalcino. His son Tommaso is presently studying oenology in university and intends to follow his father into the family business.
It is well documented that Italy’s modern time wine fortunes improved dramatically some 40 – 50 years ago when the Italian government implemented the first DOC (Demoninazione di Origine Controllata) laws.
These laws are the basis of the Italian wine industry and guarantee to the consumer that the bottle contains exactly what the label implies. They are similar to other wine laws in France, Portugal and Germany to name just a few) and are strictly enforced by the Italian government in an effort to improve the overall quality of Italian wines
Unlike other countries, the implementation of these laws caused an almost miraculous rejuvenation of high quality, wonderfully impressive wines that today rank among the finest produced in the entire world. A further declaration, this one DOCG (Demoninazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) in the mid 1980’s, has had an incredibly beneficial effect in Italy’s very finest wine producing regions. Most notable of these is Tuscany, home to the great Chianti Classicos and also the spectacular Brunello di Montalcinos, arguably among the finest red wines produced in Italy or, in fact, anywhere.
The Tuscan wine culture is more than 3,000 years old, certainly the most storied and historically laden wine region on earth. Kings and emperors have sung the praises of Tuscan wine and have even used some wines as currency during their reigns. Basically, the Tuscan wine area follows the ancient Siena to Florence highway, one of the most traveled and venerable roads in Italy. It is a hilly, rocky environment that allows grape vines to mature and provide wondrous fruit. It is marked with hundreds of micro-climates that often provide uniqueness to wines made from neighboring vineyards. And, during modern times, its easy accessibility had made the region one of the favorite visiting spots for legions of wine aficionados and devotees of the rich Tuscan cuisine that has become Italy’s leading export cooking for the past thirty years. Countless books on Tuscan cooking and gastronomy have filled the shelves of amateur and professional cooks alike. While Tuscan reds have predominated for the past hundred years, it is interesting to note that one of Italy’s greatest white wines, the resplendent Vernaccia di San Gimigiana, is also made within the confines of Southern Tuscany. It is one of the world’s great white wines and is also included in this International Series collection.
What is really neat about many Tuscan wines is that they are produced by family associations, some large, some small, unlike most other wine producing regions of Italy. This makes for delightful backgrounds stories for many wines, thereby increasing the total ambiance of the entire region.
In the important world of international wine competitions, Tuscany’s wines have proven themselves time after time. In Great Britain, where wine consumption and reporting is an art form, many of these great Italian wines have been awarded grand prizes when placed in direct competition with equally fine and famous wines from France, California and elsewhere.
A number of years ago, Italy’s foremost wine expert, Giacomo Tachis put it this way: “Here is the light, the sun. Radiant sunlight and the right soil are the soul of wine. But the tradition of the countryside and the memory of men are the solid bases of the extraordinary Tuscan wine culture.”