From Il Palazzone:


This time last year we were all at Vinitaly, in sad little clusters, grieving the passing of Dott. Franco Biondi Santi, “The Gentleman of Brunello. This in fact is the title of a biography about him, written by Montalcino expert, Kerin O’Keefe. Read her touching tribute to him here. The passing of Il Dottore at […]

A slap in the face from Nature?

by Laura Gray on March 26, 2014

We have had no winter this year, and at the beginning of March it seemed as if we had truly skipped a season and fast-forwarded to Spring. Our duvet was off the bed and happy tourists were baring legs much to the consternation of the locals. I wrote here about our late pruning and concerns […]

Budbreak 2014 : Montalcino terroir in action

by Laura Gray on March 24, 2014

Our three vineyards are separated by a total of 15 km (9 miles) and have different elevation, soil composition, vine-age and exposition. These photographs were all taken in the early afternoon of 24th March. At Le Due Porte, where our cellar is, the fuzzy nubs are just visible, whereas at the Castelnuovo dell’Abate vineyards, significantly lower in […]

Late pruning and out of season funghi

by Laura Gray on March 6, 2014

Marco found mushrooms on Wednesday. Now this may not seem like news – it has certainly happened before (see here) but actually it is a rather worrying phenomenon. There should not be mushrooms in early March. Mimosa ought not to flower in mid-February but wait until 8th March for International Women’s Day. Wild asparagi have […]

January 2014 in Montalcino

by Laura Gray on January 31, 2014


A delicious food pairing for 2009 Brunello

by Jenny Cuddihy on January 27, 2014

marovilla familyI Trulli Cucina Meridionale is celebrating their 20 year anniversary in New York City and continues to be a staple for authentic Italian cuisine with a focus on dishes inspired from traditional Puglian recipes. It is a family owned restaurant with the matriarch of the Marzovilla family, Dora leading the way as the mastermind behind […]

Benvenuto Brunello Tasting in New York City

by Jenny Cuddihy on January 23, 2014

The Consorzio del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino organizes an annual Brunello Tasting event in New York City celebrating the release of the latest vintage of Brunello and for the first time ever Il Palazzone will be participating. The event will be held at Gotham Hall on Monday January 27th with the public tasting portion going from […]

How does a winery use Twitter?

by Laura Gray on January 19, 2014

People often ask me how we use Twitter…  click here for the answer in 44 seconds. My Twitter obsession has a long history and many people have had to listen to me pontificating about its tangible ROI and other SM acronyms. Apart from the real pleasure of talking to adults about my favorite subjects, I use the […]

Labelling 2009 Brunello

by Laura Gray on January 14, 2014

Who can resist the joy of a production line in action?

What do Japanese comics have to do with Brunello?

by Jenny Cuddihy on January 8, 2014

More than you would think.   After the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino declared 2009 a 4 star vintage, they then revealed the annual vintage tile, created by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto.   Agi and Okimoto (who are actually three people, brother and sister creative team Yuko and Shin Kibayahi and artist Shu Okimoto) are the […]

Food Pairing with the 2008 Brunello

by Jenny Cuddihy on December 10, 2013

2008 recipe  Situated on Lincoln Road, one of the most famous streets in South Beach, Quattro Gastronomia Italiana has been serving genuine Italian cuisine since 2006. Identical twin brothers Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, who hail from Alessandria in Piemonte, lead the kitchen and use only the finest imported Italian ingredients to bring authentic flavors of Italy to Miami. […]

‘Tis the season to wear gloves : Christmas in Tuscany

by Laura Gray on December 10, 2013

This plant (Ruscus aculeatus) is known in most of Italy as pungitopo – or mouse-pricker – since it used to be hung from the rafters to protect prosciutti from mice. It is terrifically spikey and no Christmas would be complete without an excursion to pick some in the woods to decorate the house. Holly exists […]

One more harvest before Christmas…. porcini galore!

by Laura Gray on November 22, 2013

After picking the grapes and then the olives there was still one more harvest to go. 2013 has been fantastic for mushrooms; it has been over a decade since this area has seen a similar “fungata” and the woods have been pullulating with hunters (fungaioli).  I have been a porcini widow for nearly a month with […]

Arrivederci 2013 Brunello.. see you in 2018!

by Laura Gray on November 21, 2013

We cossetted the vines for ten months; interminable fussing with the canopy, selecting and pruning, fruit thinning and manual leaf ripping. We agonized and bickered over the pick date and winced with every drop of rain that fell. We staggered over to the cellar in our pjs to tend to the fermenting wines’ night fevers. Now the […]

Svinando, svinando

by Laura Gray on November 6, 2013

Decanter 91 points 2008    To read the full article and the rest of the reviews, visit

Introducing our 2013 Brunello

by Laura Gray on October 9, 2013

We’re doing the rimontaggi twice a day in order to oxygenate the fermenting wine and wet and disperse the cap of seeds and skins that forms at the top of the barrels. Rimontaggi involve cycling wine from the bottom of the vat back over the top of the cap. This process aerates the wine and evens […]
Paolo Vagaggini, our winemaker, recently nominated for Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year, comments on the 2013 vintage as the last of the grapes tumble noisily into our wooden fermentation vats. In his opinion the wineries that succeeded in harvesting by 4th October have a great vintage on their hands.

Harvest 2013: the journey begins (finalmente)

by Laura Gray on October 2, 2013

Decisions, decisions: harvest 2013

by Laura Gray on September 29, 2013

As I write, I can hear the scroscio of water falling. It is raining, as expected. There was a tromba d’aria this morning, a skirt-lifting blustery wind that has covered our driveway with fallen walnuts. This morning we had gentle rain accompanied by grumbling thunder and sheet lightening, and now heavier rain. We spent last […]