The majority of the Biondi Santi family’s Tenuta Greppo (25 hectares of vineyards of Brunello di Montalcino, and another 40 of land), where Brunello was created in the nineteenth century, is officially under the control of the EPI Group - Descours family, which is one of the richest in France (estimated worth, more than 1.1 billion euros). The deal was signed, and the French group confirmed it to WineNews, which had already officially announced it in December (https://goo.gl/0q0XI4).
Jacopo Biondi Santi will remain as president in the new corporate asset: that is, he will be Chairman of the Board of Directors (of Biondi Santi Tenuta Ltd, the new holding company of the EPI Group and Jacopo Biondi Santi.
At the same time, the EPI group told WineNews, two other companies have been created - Greppo Ltd, dedicated to viticulture, and BS International Ltd., which will control distribution. Olivier Adnot, who has been part of the EPI Group since 2016 and previously head of Chateau La Verreire, one of EPI group’s major wine brands (that also owns Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagne) in the Rhone Valley, will be the general manager of all three new companies.
Jacopo Biondi Santi will continue to follow the wine sector of Tenuta Greppo together with his son, Tancredi Biondi Santi, as the new French proprietors want to maintain a strong link between the Biondi Santi family and Tenuta Greppo, which has made the history of Italian wine in the world, and now looks to the future with a re-launch operation, as Jacopo explained (https://goo.gl/FALxD6). Tenuta Greppo and the Biondi-Santi family (www.biondisanti.com) are therefore beginning a new phase in their history.
Clemente Santi started the wine journey experimenting with new winemaking techniques, and obtained recognition for his "select red wine (Brunello) 1865" (his Moscadello received an award, an extraordinary recognition at that time, at the Universal Exposition of 1867 in Paris). Clemente’s grandson, Ferruccio Biondi Santi continued, and created Brunello, after having selected a particular Sangiovese grape to vinify.
The Biondi Santi family history then continued with Ferruccio's son, Tancredi, who systemized production protocol, giving new impetus to the production of Brunello, and becoming the ambassador of Montalcino and its wines, the man who introduced the "topping off" practice of the old reserves (the historical one with Mario Soldati and Luigi Veronelli), with wine of the same vintage (the first was in 1927 for 1888 and 1891 Reserves) and creator of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1955, the only Italian wine included in the US magazine "Wine Spectator" among the 12 best wines of the twentieth century.
Franco Biondi Santi followed Tancredi Biondi Santi and he played the valuable role of the uncompromising "guardian" of tradition, which was then inherited by his son Jacopo Biondi Santi, who is now at the head of the company.
It is a fundamental company in the history of Italian wine as well as being economically very important, as its bottles of wine continue to register prestigious results both on the price level at auctions and from international critics.
For example, the bottle of Brunello di Montalcino Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Reserve 1955 sold for 2.700 euros, a very unusual price for a single bottle of Italian wine, at the most recent auction by Pandolfini. Its Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010, was given the top score 100/100 (along with Champagne Brut 2012 Krug), in the "Top 100 Cellar Selection" in 2016, the ranking of the American magazine "Wine Enthusiast" which annually selects the 100 wines, out of more than 20,000 reviewed from around the world, to keep in the cellar and taste them at their best, due to their great longevity.
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