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The history: the wines

The wine from the south slopes was too strong and from the higher slopes, too light. Therefore, the landowners on these particularly favoured locations (the Biondi at "La Chiusa" estate; the Padelletti at "Paradisi" and "Rigaccini"; the Anghirelli at "Il Cigaleto") produced the best Brunellos but never viewed it as a commercially viable enterprise. It was true that Brunello could be aged for longer than most other wines but, because of its high price in comparison with better known wines and because of the general level of poverty, making Brunello on a large scale was not a winning proposition.

Another factor was the dwindling production of grapes following the destruction of the vineyards by phylloxera together with the rumors of war and later, the war itself which discouraged the owners from planting new vineyards, In 1925, Carlo Augusto Padelletti, unable to cope with all his initiatives because of his age, had, with some other landowners, founded a "Cantina Sociale" and its management was entrusted to Dr. Tancredi Biondi. Just before the Second World War this winery had to be dissolved because of the lack of grapes. After the war there were almost no vineyards left in Montalcino. Some courageous landowners then started replanting, but only Brunello grapes. The economic situation improved rapidly and the "Italian Miracle" took place. There was money for both investment and consumption. New and improved vineyards were planted and new cellars with new oak casks were made.

Demand was met by increased production, but far beyond the boundaries always considered most suitable for Brunello. Dr. Avv. Carlo Augusto Padelletti, by now over 80, entrusted the management of his land to his son, Guido, who continue d with the planting of a vineyard in the original location where the best Brunello had been produced, years before. After the division of the paternal estate with his brothers, he was left with the "Rigaccini" estate. He has 6 hectares of beautiful vineyards but, because of his professional commitments abroad, he limits himself to the production of splendid Brunello grapes, using only one fifth of the best of these to make an average of 8.000 bottles a year and selling the remainder to other Brunello producers. His cellar is under the family house in Via Padelletti, on the city walls where so many generations of his family have lived. Guido Padelletti still thinks that quantity is the enemy of quality and tries to maintain the high standards set by his own ancestors.