Massimo Ferragamo on winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco Resort -Cars Automobiles

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The 2,000-hectare Castiglion del Bosco estate is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Castiglione del Bosco has a famous new owner with a recognized surname. As the chairman of Ferragamo, Florence-born Massimo Ferragamo, the youngest scion of fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, has ventured into the least anticipated (fashion industry) but least surprised (make it the Italian love for "la dolce vita") ) second career – in the world of Make wine and hospitality in the winery Castiglion del Bosco.

The 2,000-hectare estate of Castiglion del Bosco is located in Tuscany Heritage of UNESCO This means that Ferragamo's passion was initially driven by the love of wine and the fruits of the grapevines, but ultimately ownership of a world heritage meant that the son of the fashion house of Ferragamo Hotelier had to put in order the many buildings of the 800 year old estate Montalcino, Tuscany,

Massimo Ferragamo, the latest addition to fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, has turned his passion for wine into a second career – a hotelier at the winemaker Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany.

On his wrist a Vacheron Constantin Chronograph, a heirloom of the Ferragamo family

Exclusive: Massimo Ferragamo on winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco Resort

The US-based Ferragamo travels frequently to the Tuscany wine village Over months of the year, he spoke exclusively with LUXUO during his recent visit to Singapore about his love of wine, restoration and the glorious heritage of the region.

How to get from fine leather goods to winemaking?

Quite simply, these are articles that speak of an exclusive experience: this category includes tasting good wine and drinking. There was also an emotional element in my decision, I like to collect fine wines and was always fascinated by the story. The 800 year old Montalcino in Tuscany was something that combined both.

I live in New York, but on one of my many visits to Tuscany, I encountered an area in the area that I did not know very well – Montalcino in the Val d'Orcia. In 90% of the cases, the best wines come from the most beautiful locations. The fruits of the grapevines produced here the famous Brunello di Montalcino.

With my interest in restoration projects in older wineries we found Castiglion del Bosco, a 2000 hectare vineyard with 60 hectares of vineyards. This makes us the fifth producer of 240 manufacturers. It had a great past, but it had to be brought up to the level where it could again give the best wines of Italy.

This is a kind of your second career. What kind of experience do you use to build the property and turn it into a resort?

I saw an estate in poor condition, but had an idea of ​​what might come of it. It had a glorious past, the winery was one of the seven pioneers of the denomination of Brunello di Montalcino and produced wines since the early 1900s. It had only a few unfortunate decades in which it passed through different owners. A property like Castiglion del Bosco had to be taken care of and brought back to life.

First, we inherited Brunello di Montalcino wines, which remained in the cellar for five years. Second, all the other buildings and houses were left to decay, as all the peasants had left in the 1950s and 1960s. After all, I was driven by the idea of ​​having all these parts work together and for each other.

I have been living for America for 20 years, and I can tell you that our office was like a travel agency in addition to the daily operations of the Ferragamo house. Friends called and asked where I should go, what to do. In addition, I also learned that the comments of the experience on their return were always similar: Tuscany was beautiful, but the house was not air conditioned or lacked certain amenities. or that the food was great, but there was always something missing.

I had probably used this information for many years, but I did not realize I did not want to call it a resort, but I wanted people to come and stay and have a thoroughly good experience. I was driven by the fact that I wanted to put people first and experience all that Tuscany has to offer, including authenticity.

How do you describe Castiglion del Bosco?

Castiglion del Bosco has three elements: the winery, the heart of the project. Hospitality at a high level, not wasteful, but authentic in Tuscany; Finally, the 18-hole golf course, where we used the beautiful fields with great success – the only private golf course in Italy. People come to stay and enjoy many of the activities we offer, so the property is back in good shape. If we had only made wine, we would not have had the opportunity to restore the village and the church with frescoes from 1350. They have the duty to bring it back. 50 years ago it was farmland and it lived in another era, today it must be given the purpose to bring it back to life.

Winery and hotel resort are not the things that usually belong together. How did you have this idea?

Every idea I had was determined by what I had found. They had all these old buildings in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings had all fallen down, and the area, as you found them, was enclosed in the 15th century, the vineyards and even an abandoned church with frescoes from the 1350s. How can you get all this? In a nature reserve you can not build new buildings, but only restore existing buildings. On the wine side, it was clear we needed a new winery because the old facilities of modern winemaking were no longer conducive, which is very precise and requires new technologies such as air conditioning. Meanwhile, we have conserved the good vines between 6 and 15 years and replaced the 45 year old vines that were no longer produced.

I was wondering what we can do to restore it for use, because part of the maintenance and reinstatement of life requires it to be used, and that's how the resort came into being – the idea of ​​bringing real Tuscany to people to convey.

Was that the dream you always had or was it something that your dad heard about and then it became yours?

No, I think we were always lucky because I grew up in the outskirts of Florence and was surrounded by greenery. My playgrounds were the woods, my brothers built little carts for downhill runs in the wild, we were always out playing football and I never really thought I would develop a passion for wine that suited me, and Tuscany was always mine Heart. I thought I would have a much smaller property, but when the opportunity presented itself, it almost felt like an invitation.

I am a family man and in most of my research visits to the Tuscan vineyards are not very kid friendly. What do children do when adults drink wine?

Good question. I am a family man myself, so I had that in mind. Castiglion del Bosco can be couples or whole families. There are morning and afternoon activities for children, we have a kids club, children's initiatives and even a farm where they can pet the animals. That's the most fascinating thing, because most city kids have seen an animal in their life!

There are also facilities for swimming, tennis, football and of course wide fields for running and playing. After a certain age, they may want to play golf, bike or hike. That is, it is a challenging terrain to cycle. You have to get a guide, especially if you think downhill that it's fabulous, but most do not think about how to drive back. So we have a number to call the concierge and they can come and pick you up.

To return to the resort in defeat is probably not something I would like to do. The Chinese drink more wine. Have you discovered that their pallets are different from the Eurocentric, or are they simply following what is good because the Western world is convinced?

I do not think I'm an expert and will not change my wines accordingly. We make our wines because we believe in them and, hopefully, we like people. There are many variables, even in New York, different habits. For example, when I was young, the adults had Gin Tonic and Negroni for dinner, and that has changed drastically.

Not all places in Asia are the same today, there is some sophistication in some areas more than in others. Obviously, those who have just started will tend to name themselves – sometimes even "expensive is better" is a term they have in mind – but this does not apply to Italian wines, as we have a wider range of valuable wines for that price to offer great wines.

Personally, I think it's a matter of eating, because in Asia it's sometimes more difficult if the food is spicier or uses more herbs, and it stuns the palate to taste the wine, but all of this is something what will develop. There is no black or white. The more they taste, the more they want to drink wine.

In this part of the world, we seldom combine our meals with our meals because you have taste issues that you mentioned earlier. Do you have any idea how to combine wines and integrate them into our food program?

I will make many people dissatisfied with this statement, but I believe the pairing is overrated and should not even be included in the equation, because if you have a good wine, you can enjoy it with friends for dinner, regardless of what you do just have. It really is about how you like it, there is no reason to be obsessed with the pairing. Personally, I go with the seasons: when it's cold, it's red. When it's hot, both.

It really depends on whether you want to refresh yourself, then a champagne or white wine is enough or you have a cigar with friends. A red wine comes into play. The myth of mating is something that should relax a bit, but I have absolute respect for the great cooks and sommeliers who take the trouble to supplement elements that complement each other.

Do you have plans to build a leather workshop in a corner of the property?

No, you should not complicate a pure experience – wine is very different from what we offer in Ferragamo, and if you want to shop, we also organize shopping trips in Florence. What we have is a small shop on the estate being curated by my wife. There she finds unnamed things by independent artisans in Tuscany. We will by no means try not to mix and spoil the authentic Tuscan experience.

Ferragamo with the Brunello Montalcino Zodiac Dog from 2018

For the past 13 years, Massimo Ferragamo's Castiglion del Bosco has become one of the five best of 240 wineries producing Brunello di Montalcino, a red Italian wine that contains only Sangiovese grapes. From the winery to the wine cellar, the winery produces 20,000 boxes of wine every year. The quality of the production is of the utmost detail and care that many of the wines have been rated 90 points or more in the Robert Parker Wine Advocate ratings, with 90-95 being "excellent" and everything beyond "exceptional".

Castiglion del Bosco of Ferragamo created the limited Zodiac line for the Chinese market and dedicated his best winery exclusively to the production of the Zodiac line of cello wines from Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. Luxuo tried the new zodiac dog during the interview with Massimo Ferragamo. The Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 DOCG Zodiac Rooster received 99 points from the famous wine critic James Suckling.

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