The historic birthplace of Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy's great red wines, lies at the end of a long, dirt road lined with tall cypresses leading to a centuries-old farmhouse. This is Il Greppo, an estate located just south of the small hilltop town of Montalcino and where generations of the Biondi Santi family have lived. It was at Il Greppo in the late 19th century that the Biondi Santis came up with the then revolutionary idea of making red wine exclusively from the local Sangiovese grape variety known as Brunello, as opposed to blending in other grapes, both red and white, as was common at the time. Long before there were super Tuscans, the Brunellos made by the Biondi Santis helped set the standard for Tuscan reds—and arguably all of Italy.Wine Spectator's Tim Fish explains.
From the Oct 31, 2012, issue