Today a wine lover can hardly imagine a world without Brunello. But there was a time when no one knew about a place called Montalcino and its wines. Then the businessman Silvio Nardi bought a vineyard. From this, one of the most significant and innovative producers of Brunello was to develop…
The Nardis are basically agricultural machinery manufacturers in Umbria („Ditta Nardi“). When Silvio Nardi purchased the Tenuta di Casale del Bosco estate in Montalcino in 1950, he was making a modest dream come true: why not take up a little wine-growing in a picturesque region as form of relaxation from his stressful job? The first Brunello wine was ready for drinking in 1954; at the time a consorzio did not yet exist, and winelovers had not discovered Montalcino to any great extent –it was, incidentally, well into the sixties by the time this happened.
Silvio Nardi was the first „outsider“ to invest in the area. In 1962 he bought another estate with 40 hectares of vines, Manachiara (connoisseurs recognise it immediately: today this is what Tenute Silvio Nardi’s superb Brunello Cru is called). The Brunello consorzio was only founded in 1967, once again, as its co-founder, Silvio Nardi, was undertaking important pioneering work. In 1970 he acquired yet another estate, Tenuta di Bibbiano, with a picturesque medieval castle. Today these three wineries form the small, but fine, Nardi family empire.
The youngest daughter, Emilia, joined the operation in 1985, taking over its management in 1990. There was a classic changing of the guard: together with her brothers, Emilia decided to change a lot of things and used science to improve the quality: clone selection to find the optimum vine for each location, valorisation and re-designing of the cellars and vineyards. The enterprise’s „new“ Brunello, which appeared in 1995 for the first time, is evidence of this progress. Since then Tenute Silvio Nardi has become an outstanding producer of Brunello and other wines: the Brunello and and Rosso di Montalcino Tenute Silvio Nardi continues the tradition started in 1954, whilst the Vigneto Manachiara is the flagship. Only produced in exceptional years from the oldest vines in the family’s possession, it is one of the greatest wines of its kind. A new single vineyard from the North-West side is to be released on the market in January 2013. International grape varieties such as Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot are also grown on the family’s 80 hectares of vines, from which the excellent Merlot Sant’Animo and the Tùran Rosso di Montalcino are produced.