Massimo Ferragamo of top Italian fashion label Salvatore Ferragamo has bought Castiglion del Bosco, an historic Montalcino estate with 55ha of premium DOCG Brunello vines.
The 1700ha Tuscan holding, along with the charming hamlet and castle that surround it, date from 1200 and is says Stefano Campatelli, director of Brunello’s Consorzio, ‘one of Montalcino’s star properties’. ‘It has a good south-west exposure,’ he says.
The sale price has not been disclosed, but Campatelli puts the estate’s value at between €28m (US$30) and €32m (US$34.3m). Montalcino vines are typically valued at between €250,000 (US$268,200) and €500,000 (US$536,400) per hectare.
The winery presently produces 87,000 bottles of Montalcino a year, and has a turnover of around €1.4m (US$1.5m).
‘I have lived in New York for 20 years and I’ve always wanted to invest in a vineyard in the Tuscan countryside,’ says Massimo Ferragamo, president of Ferragamo USA and major shareholder in the new venture along with other family members and American friends Corkey Selverson and John Janes. ‘We all share the same passion, which is wine,’ he says.
Ferragamo has already appointed top consultant winemaker Nicolò D’Aflitto, who makes wine for the Ferragamo Tuscan estate Il Borro, to be in charge of winemaking, working with resident enologist Marina Mariani. Francesco Mazzei of Chianti Classico’s prestigious Fonterutoli estate will act as marketing consultant.
‘It’s still too early to say what we plan to do,’ Feragamo says. ‘We just stepped in a few days ago and have to sit down and plan for the future. All I can say is that we aim to make a top Montalcino label.’
The estate was bought from German financier Manfred Bernau who did much to improve its efficiency. Ferragamo is an upmarket global brand most celebrated for its footwear.
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Written by Michèle Shah28 March 2003