In his youth Vincenzo Abbruzzese spent summers working at Valdicava, his grandparents’ winery in northern Montalcino. His grandmother bought these gentle slopes in 1953 and with her husband planted the first vines here. However, her son left home for Siena, where Vincenzo was born and raised. Abbruzzese cultivated an avid interest in science and chose an engineering track when he began his university studies in Florence.
Graduation was finally approaching in 1987 when his grandfather announced the intention to sell Valdicava; Vincenzo’s eyes opened to a new future, and when he left Florence for Montalcino, he did not look back. Abbruzzese was well aware of the challenges that faced him. The property was pleading for drastic improvements and the young man had hardly any capital of his own; but he was a dedicated worker and promptly began a series of improvements that would shape Valdicava into the top quality winery he envisioned.
Vincenzo’s systematic changes have earned Valdicava a place among the elite producers of Brunello di Montalcino. With just 10 hectares in the coldest part of the Brunello zone, he is probably the most exacting grower in the area, managing vegetation so that each grape will enjoy the perfect amount of sun and mercilessly expunging tightly packed grapes to avoid rot and diseases. He has also rebuilt the cellar, where he replaced his grandparents’ botti with stainless steel and oak fermenters and new wood casks for ageing. Abbruzzese’s Brunello and Brunello Riserva are truly outstanding, while the Rosso di Montalcino is one of the best available; and all of his bottlings consistently demonstrate richness and excellent structure.