It was Paolo de Marchi ‘s father who decided in the 1950s to buy the Isole e Olena estate. The family property was in Alto Piemonte, in the village of Lessona, but in those days the wines were hard to sell.
Paolo was just 25 when he arrived in Tuscany to manage the new estate in 1976, and his first vintage was in 1978.
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Aware that the vineyards badly needed renovation, he soon replanted two-thirds of the vines with low-yielding clones, doubled the vine density, and restored the terraces.
Paolo wanted to produce Chianti, of course, but he was unhappy with the quality of the Chianti vineyards – so much so that much of the wine he made was sold in bulk.