Eugenio Campolmi, owner of Le Macchiole estate in Bolgheri, died on Sunday after a battle against cancer.

Campolmi (pictured, with his wife Cinzia and sons Elia and Mattia) was one of the few, if not the only, true ‘Bolgherese’ vintners. He was born and brought up in Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast, and started planting vines in the mid 1980s.

‘Eugenio had great foresight,’ says Michele Satta, well-known Bolgheri winemaker and close family friend. ‘He was convinced right from the start that the way ahead was to make premium quality wines of international standing.’

In the mid 1990s Campolmi – who was 40 when he died – made his debut with Paleo, a red Bolgheri Bordeaux-style wine. This was followed by Messorio Merlot, and Lo Scrio, a Syrah. All three wines have been awarded Italy’s Gambero Rosso top ‘Tre Bicchieri’ award several years running.

Campolmi was featured in Decanter magazine in 2001 as one of Bolgheri’s ‘rising stars’. ‘If there is a cutting edge in Bolgheri,’ Stephen Brook wrote, ‘it is Campolmi who is wielding the shears…The Macchiole wines are superb.’

Written by Michele Shah16 July 2002