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Blends wine group adds third Tuscan wine estate to growing portfolio

The fast-growing Blends wine group has bought Montalcino estate Podere Brizio – its third Tuscan wine acquisition in less than a year.

The town of Montalcino

The deal was funded by Argentinian oil tycoon Alejandro Bulgheroni, who formed Blends with fellow Argentinian Carlos Pulenta and Italian winemaking consultant Alberto Antonini.

Podere Brizio includes a winery, vineyards and an agro-tourism project in the heart of Montalcino, and produces Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino and Sant’Antimo Rosso Leonensis wines, plus an IGT Colli della Toscana Centrale, an IGT Pupà Pepu and a Vin Santo DOC Sant’Antimo.

Previous owner Roberto Bellini sold part of the larger estate in 1996 and partnered with Podere Brizio’s historic owners, the Cannoni-Mazzi family, building a new winery in 2002.

Vineyards on the 30-hectare property include 7ha devoted to Brunello, 1ha for Rosso di Montalcino and 1.25ha of Sant’Antimo, and there are eight apartments, plus a pool and tennis court, in the adjoining tourist accommodation.

Blends said the acquisition gave Bulgheroni’s investment company, Inversora Agroindustrial Global (IAG), 25ha of Brunello vineyards in total, plus 8ha of Rosso di Montalcino and 7ha of Sant’Antimo.

The company said Podere Brizio’s winery facilities, with a capacity of about 4,000 hectolitres, would suffice for the production of Brizio and its other Montalcino estate, Poggiolandi, in the 2013 and 2014 harvests.

But it added that it was ‘analysing the possibility’ of building a winery at Poggiolandi, as well as extending that at Brizio.

Existing staff will remain in place, but the business will be run by Dievole, the Chianti Classico estate bought by Blends – along with Poggiolandi – at the start of 2013.

Blends also owns Argentinian wine brand Argento, plus Vistalba in Argentina, Garzón in Uruguay and Renwood in California.

Written by Richard Woodard

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