After last speaking with Greg, with him telling me ahout staying at the Ferragamo's Il Borro estate, I told him, "I need you to paint me a picture. Make me feel like I'm there with you." For the last decade Greg's thousands of Italian wine customers have been drooling over his tales from the road, wishing they could stow themselves away in his suitcase or be a fly on the wall at his tasting events. Stories of lush gardens, decadent dinners, and levels of wine consumption that reach legendary status. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, however, so I figured it was time we all saw for ourselves just how amazing Greg's journeys are. "Oh, and give some information about the wines, too!" I added.
The Il Borro estate was purchased by the Ferragamo family in 1993 and grows merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, chardonnay, and petit verdot, along with the standard Italian sangiovese on forty-five hectares of land. Salvatore's goal was to take a historic corner of Tuscany—one previously abandoned and in need of care—and resurrect it; not just in terms of wine production, but also as a tourist destination. Today Il Borro is both a winery and a resort, offering a variety of services to travelers visiting the region. The soils have a variety of mineral content making the area the perfect place to grow a diverse variety of grapes for winemaking.
Part of the reason Greg went back to Italy for a third time this year was due to the strength of the 2010 Brunello vintage in the region. Critics are calling it the vintage of a lifetime, creating wines of such beauty and finesse that they're beyond the likes of anything tasted in recent memory. With our supplies of Brunello selling like hot cakes, Greg booked a ticket back across the Atlantic in an attempt to secure more supplies. However, with September being harvest time, he's already beginning to hear rumblings of an even more impressive 2015 growing season—perhaps even surpassing the glorious 2010. Wouldn't that be something?
Dinner last night was incredible, Greg wrote to me. Classic Tuscan meat and potatoes with plenty of great bottles spread across the table to pour from. It's the simplicity that always stuns us when we dine abroad, don't you think?
In the house for this particular meal was legendary Tenuta Sette Ponti owner Antonio Moretti, who you might recognize as part owner of Prada. Alongside an appreciation for fine leather goods and handmade shoes, Moretti's family has been making wine for generations. Antonio eventually took over the Tenuta Sette Ponti estate from his father, and in 1999 he purchased Poggio al Lupo in Maremma; followed by a Sicilian estate called Fuedo Maccari in 2000. The Tenuta Sette Ponta Super Tuscans are some of the most stylish, savory, and powerful wines made in the region, always garnering huge accolades from the press. Greg would be visiting the vineyards at Settie Ponti the following day. But first—cigars.