Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Saturday, December 8 2018

An Italian Adventure: Super Tuscany

By: Anthony Gismondi
Luce Della Vite is Montalcino's brightest light.

Each week, until mid-December, we are releasing a short film in which we take a closer look at an Italian wine region, filming it through the eyes of the people who are making the wines.

In this episode, we visit the Luce della Vite estate and catch up with Stefano Ruini, the new technical director of the renowned estate owned by the celebrated Tuscan Frescobaldi family.

Ruini sees himself as more of a midwife than winemaker, allowing the property to tell its story through its wine. Ruini and the new winery signal a rebirth at Luce, first founded back in 1995 as a partnership and a collaboration between the Frescobaldi family (Lamberto) and the Napa Valley Mondavi family (Tim). The goal was to create a super Tuscan blend of sangiovese and merlot, that eventually spawned Luce, Lucente and finally, in 2003, the first Brunello di Montalcino.

When the Mondavis sold the family business in 2004 the Frescobaldi’s took back control of Luce della Vite and carried on production at nearby Castelgiocondo whose vineyards border the Luce vineyards. In 2017, Lamberto Frescobaldi made the decision to give Luce a new home and new direction. Ruini arrived in the middle of the transaction that saw Frescobaldi purchase his neighbour’s recently built winery structure (mostly underground) and was given carte blanche to reach for the stars. We met him in the middle of his constellation and went for a tour.

Watch the rest of the Bolzano to Bari: An Italian Adventure Series.

Further study: Tenuta Luce della Vite

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For 30 years he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. His twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to 10 million readers. Anthony co-hosts the 20-year-strong BC Food & Wine Radio Show, which is broadcast in seven markets in B.C. and available online everywhere on iHeartRadio.ca. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.