Tenute Piccini is currently led by Mario Piccini, the fourth generation of the family
Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most revered red wines in Italy. Made with 100% Sangiovese, it was first produced in the mid-19th century, and bears the country’s highest classification: DOCG. One of its finest proponents is Tenute Piccini, which has been making wine in Tuscany since 1882, and is the recipient of an IWSC Trophy this year for its Brunello di Montalcino 2015.
Tenute Piccini is located in the heart of Chianti Classico, and also owns estates in other Italian regions: Basilicata and Sicily. The company has an altruistic side, too: in 2019, it saved Chianti Geografico, one of the oldest cooperatives in Tuscany, from bankruptcy – a move that brand ambassador Giacomo Panicacci said would “make sure that the new generations will keep working the vineyards rather than abandoning them or selling them”.
Piccini’s Brunello is aged for a minimum of five years before being released, during which time it develops haunting aromas of liquorice, cherry and spice. The wine scored 95/100pts and drew considerable praise from IWSC judges, who described it thus: “Flows from one sense to another, utterly seamless and natural. Giving refined red fruits, chestnut and truffle savoury aromas on the nose with velvet smooth tannins and refreshing bright acidity on the finish. Truly a remarkable wine.”
We spoke to owner Mario Piccini to find out more about this historic producer and its award-winning wines.
Tell us about the history and background of Tenute Piccini…
The history of Tenute Piccini covers three centuries. It’s a long family history that has shared moments of patience, tough work and goals achieved with sacrifice. Today, the company, led by Mario Piccini, the fourth generation of the family, boastpresence in more than 80 countries around the world. The Piccini Estates project is a journey through the different regions of Italy. Five estates, now all organically ruled, have entered the Piccini family; three of these arise in the most prestigious wine areas of Tuscany: Chianti Classico, Maremma and Montalcino. The picture is completed by the two volcanic estates: Torre Mora, set along the slopes of Etna, and Regio Cantina, located at the foot of the Vulture, in Basilicata.
How did you get into wine?
The love story that binds us to wine has lasted for five generations. We need to go back to 1882, when Angiolo, the forefather of this family, rolled up his sleeves and established a small enterprise, designed to forge the Tuscan and Italian wine culture.
What is your winemaking philosophy?
The winemaking philosophy that inspires the work in all five estates of the company is to create wines that reflect the territory of origin while respecting the expressiveness of the grapes. The vineyards of each estate give life to different wines but with a common thread of absolute quality. In each estate the purpose is different, but it follows the same philosophy: distinctive, high-quality wines, produced in suitable areas and accompanied by the leading experts in the field.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given and how did you use that in your winemaking?
The best advice to which we always try to remain faithful is imprinted in the words that Angiolo Piccini loved to remember: “Everything we do in the present is for both the past and for the future”. These 15 words sum up the entire history of the company. Our five generations that have followed one another have always held out their hands to each other, in the wake of tradition and constant attention to innovation.
Who or what has been your most important influence and why?
For this reason, our reference point will always be the family, the bond that unite us to the land since 1882. However, nothing would be possible without the passion that has been driving us for more than a century and that encourages us to continually challenge the future.
How can people best enjoy your wine?
The great complexity of Brunello Piccini makes this wine the perfect companion for game or matured cheeses.