A Stranger in Montalcino
Silvio Nardi’s father, Francesco Nardi, was a pioneer in the manufacture of agricultural tools in Umbria. In 1950 Silvio Nardi purchased the Casale del Bosco estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, and in 1958 produced his first bottles of Brunello di Montalcino. The family’s deep ties to agriculture and the optimistic atmosphere of Montalcino in the late postwar years focused Nardi’s determination to produce a natural product of tradition and excellence. In 1962, he purchased the esteemed Manachiara estate, and in 1972, the Castello di Bibbiano estate.
Brunello on the World Stage
In 1966, Brunello di Montalcino was among the first eight Italian wine producing zones to be designated a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). In 1967, Nardi was among the first members of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello, a voluntary association of producers who were determined to sustain and improve the quality of the wines of their zone as they gained prestige. In 1980, Brunello di Montalcino became the first Italian wine to receive Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status. The producers’ awareness of the importance of astute viticultural practices and improved fermentation and maturation techniques led to a revolution in the 80s, with the development of more sophisticated viticultural and winemaking concepts. Brunello began to express its full potential.
Silvio Nardi focused on his vineyards, taking advantage of wine growing and winemaking technology and pursuing his belief in the importance of specific terroir. The result was that in the 1980s, Casale del Bosco and its Brunello were among Montalcino’s best. A new generation’s leadership began in 1991 when Silvio’s daughter Emilia Nardi took over winery management and spearhead new projects of clonal research and phenological ripeness. Like her father, Emilia is focused on highlighting terroir in the wines. The exceptional 1995 vintage was the introduction for Manachiara, a “cru” created from a specially-vinified selection of the finest grapes from the single vineyard of that name.