Friday, March 2, 2012

An interview with Fabio Giannetti from La Fornace, Montalcino Siena Italia

Ciao Fabio . Thank you for your time and congratulations on the awards and accolades that your wines are receiving.

Fabio (centre) with mum Germana and dad Franco

How long has La Fornace estate been in your family?

My grandfather bought the estate in 1964. Before the purchase our family worked on the land as share croppers for many generations.

Who was the person from your family that first planted Sangiovese vines?

The first Sangiovese vines were planted by my great grandfather and this was continued by my grandfather and father.

One of the vineyards

Can you describe the land on which your vines are planted?

The terroir is very diverse from one vineyard to another even though they are all close to our cellar. The soils are partly clay, limestone and sand.

Culling the grapes to improve maturation and quality

How many hectares are planted with Sangiovese Grosso grapes?

We have 4.5 hectares planted with sangiovese grapes of which 4.3 hectares are authorised for  Brunello and 0.2 hectares at Rosso di Montalcino.

Who is involved in the vineyard from your family today?

All of my family are involved in the vineyard. My father Franco plays an integral part in helping retain the traditional elements of our family tradition.

Germana e Franco 

 What is your philosophy in making wines?

My philosophy is to ensure that our wines interpret the true essence of the sangiovese grosso grape and the Montalcino terroir.  For me it’s very important the wines represent the true character of Montalcino sangiovese.

What sets your wines apart from others?

We have great wine makers in and around Montalcino. For me the outcome is a great wine which is born from a passion and from a culture and which represents the true tradition of wine making in the area long established from generations past.

You have received high ratings for your wines in recent years. Are there any that stand out as special?

I have been fortunate that leading expects continue to rate our wines highly. For example Wine Spectator consistently has us in the 90/96 point range.

Have your vintages changed over the years?

Yes and no. Every year is different.  For me it’s very important that every year is different because every year has different weather and for me it’s very important that my wine reflects not only the soil but also the climate.

Can you tell us about the 2006 Brunello.

Every year it’s like having a new child. The 2006 vintage reflected very balanced weather, resulting in an elegant wine with perfect body. In 2006 we had a very good summer and a perfect September leading up to a spectacular harvest time.

What are the first wines you will be bringing into Australia?

With the help my friends Alan and Carolyna from Italian Wine Importers, we will introduce a vertical selection of our wines with a 2007 and 2009 Rosso di Montalcino  and 2004, 2005 and 2006  from Brunello di Montalcino.

Franco tenderly nurturing the wine, the traditional way

When will we see you visit Australia?

Very interesting question…. Normally it’s 2 or 3 years after our wines are first imported.  I will work with Italian Wine Importers to determine the best time to visit. I will look forward to my first visit to Australia.


Fabio Giannetti