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Established in the mid-16th century, Avignonesi is one of the oldest wineries in Italy. Like many other noble estates, its early history paralleled the movements of the Catholic Church. When Pope Gregory XI moved the papal residence from France to Italy in 1377, one of the families who followed him eventually settled in Montepulciano, Tuscany and founded Avignonesi.
More recently, two other families have driven the renaissance of this venerable brand. In 1974, when the Falvo brothers bought the property, they significantly invested in viticulture, in particular the development and promotion of indigenous varietals. After minority stakeholder Virginie Saverys gained full control of the estate in 2009, she began two long-term projects. The first was to introduce organic farming and viticulture practices. As of 2012, the estate is fully organic and has applied for certification. She also partnered with the University of Bordeaux to conduct a detailed topography and soil analysis, the results of which are used to customize pruning, planting and vinification decisions for each parcel.
Avignonesi owns 345 acres, which are divided into seven different properties and are situated at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. The largest holding, Le Capezzine is comprised of a traditional vinsantaia and four different plots, (I Poggetti, Le Badelle, El Grasso and Banditella vineyards) which provide the grapes for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The La Selva and La Lombarda parcels are located in Cortona and planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Under the watchful stewardship of the winemaking team, the vineyards are farmed organically and all of Avignonesiís wines are made using estate fruit.
The impact of origin in the creation of flavor is a driving premise behind the minimalist winemaking philosophy at Avignonesi. Just as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vin Santo are considered benchmarks for its category so are the efforts of Virginie and her team as they strive to produce wines that offer authentic and inimitable expressions of terroir, vintage and varietal.