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Biondi Santi relations ease but rift still apparent

Relations between Jacopo Biondi Santi and his father have eased, but there is still a wide rift between them, the scion of one of Tuscany’s legendary houses tells Decanter.

‘He preserved only tradition’: Jacopo, left, with his father Franco Biondi Santi

Jacopo Biondi Santi, the great-grandson of Ferrucio Biondi Santi, the man who is credited with being the creator of Brunello di Montalcino, fell out with his father Franco in 1991 and left the family estate to launch his own wines.

It is unclear, Margaret Rand says in her interview with Jacopo in the latest issue of Decanter, whether the split was to do with personality or his urge to modernise.

However, Biondi Santi tells her, his father is jealous of his success with his blends Sassoalloro, Schidione and Rívolo.

‘My father’s very jealous…because I created a new name and he preserved only tradition. He created nothing else.’

In a wide-ranging interview with both Biondi Santi and his 21-year-old daughter Clio, Rand demonstrates that much of the rift is probably due to the complexity of familial relationships.

Clio, she says, is closer and more understanding of her grandfather than her father is: ‘He’s a hard man, but he has a good heart’ – and she also recognises that father and son have more in common than they would admit.

But there is still much to be resolved in the house of Biondi Santi, not least Jacopo’s concerns over the future of the historic Greppo estate, widely considered the cradle of Brunello di Montalcino, in which he has a 23% share.

‘He has prepared nothing…. If he wants to sell, fine, I’m happy. I have my own wine. If he dies, I have to pay inheritance tax on the estate and on the trademark.’

Read the full interview in the February issue of Decanter magazine, out now.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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