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Buoni Anni - Cent'Anni Vineyards

Santa Ynez Valley AVA

Their love for superb Italian wines sparked their interest in planting Sangiovese vines

Throughout his career in the entertainment business, Jamie Kellner and his wife Julie were collectors of the great wines of Northern Italy. They collected numerous editions of Brunelli di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico and other lustrous Super Tuscan Italian reds. They became interested in the principal grape that was common to the wines, the marvelous Sangiovese.

When the Kellners retired just after the millennium (he was the Chairman and CEO of the huge Turner Broadcasting System), the couple bought some property in Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley just above Santa Barbara. Along the way, the Kellners became close friends with Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) who noted their interest in wines made from the Sangiovese grape.

“We started talking about the property and the potential of growing the Sangiovese and a number of people really sparked at the idea,” confided Margerum. “In 2006, the Kellners were living there part time and ultimately decided to plant their 4 ½ acres in their favorite varietal. The noted Italian viticulturist Alberto Antonini was hired as a consultant as the project went forward. Everything was managed in the same manner that it has been done for centuries in Tuscany. We allowed the vines to fully mature and waited until the 2011 vintage to produce a really substantive wine.”

The five different clones of Sangiovese have thrived in the soils of Los Olivos. The fruit is used exclusively for the production of Buoni Anni (good years) making it fully estate grown. Doug Margerum is a co-owner of the Buoni Anni winery operation that utilizes traditional Tuscan winemaking techniques to produce this most unique wine. “When we planted the vines, we added a small amount of Pinot Grigio and a pair of Italian varietals (Canaiolo and Colorino) that were new to California. These are unique varietals that produce some distinctive characteristics that make our Buoni Anni Sangiovese something special.

The Buoni Estate fruit amounted to some 1,250 plus cases, about as much fruit that will be available for the future. “We want all our wine to be at the estate level,” Margerum concluded. “It’s really that good.”