About the Producer: 
Brothers Ettore, Alberto and Leonardo Falvo of Avignonesi led the revival of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in the 1980s with vanguard techniques extended to an array of premium wines that is formidable even by the eclectic standards of Tuscany. Ettore Falvo directs production of more that 600,000 bottles a year from 110 hectares of vineyards in the communities of Montepulciano and Cortona. The main focus is on Vino Nobile, including Grandi Annate made only in top years, but the prestigious line take in Super-Tuscan reds called Grifi (Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon), Il Toro Desidero (Merlot) and Marzocco (Chardonnay) and Il Vignola (Sauvignon Blanc). Despite its dynamic modern image, Avignonesi has won greatest acclaim for Vin Santo, Tuscany’s age-old “holy wine” made in token quantited by methods that Ettore Falvo insists are devoutly traditional. Avignonesi makes two types of Vin Santo, one from white cartieties of Malvasia and Trebbiano, the other from red Prugnolo Gentile, the clone of Sangiovese that is also the base of Vino Nobile. The latter, called Occhio di Pernice (Eye of the Patridge, in reference to its ruddy color), may be Italy’s most cherished sweet wine, though production rarely surpasses a thousand half bottles a year. Grapes are methodically dries fro six months before crushing instead of the standard three. Bunches are arrays on graticci, cane mats, in the appassitoio, a large room whose windows are open when it’s cold and dry and closed when it’s mild and damp. Moldy grapes are carefully discarded as they shrivel, losing about 70 percent of their original liquid. Ettore Falvo has prolonged barrel aging to ten years instead of the normal two to five to make Vin Santo that is more concentrated in texture and richer and more luscious in flavor, with depth and polish that other only aspire to. The Vin Santo from white grapes are aged in barrels fro eight years. More is produced: about 2,500 half bottles a year.