Interview with Massimo Ferragamo

Massimo Ferragamo
Chariman of Ferragamo, USA and owner of Castiglion di Bosco

So the Ferragamo name is, of course, very famous in fashion – but how did you come into the wine business?  Some years ago I invested in the purchase of Castiglion di Bosco. This is a very old (dates back to the 1100s) and traditional estate on which there are 140 acres of vineyards. We have created a vacation resort with a taste of Tuscan life - with villas for rent, restaurants, an excellent golf course, tennis courts, soccer field, a cooking academy, a spa surrounding the vineyards and winery. It is very beautiful and we are very proud of it. There are many woods for trekking, mountain biking, nature walks and hunting with our resident game warden. Fly fishing, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning and a private viewing of Palio (the passion-stirring horse race that takes place twice each summer in Siena) - all are activities offered to our Members and our Guests, But the heart and soul is the state of the art gravity-fed winery we built.

Tell me about the wines. As he poured me a glass, of Campo del Drago he explained. “It is a “Brunello di Montalcino  produced in our vineyards near the town of Montalcino just south of Florence.   Brunello in Tuscan dialect means "small dark one" and is what we call the Sangiovese grape. Since 1980, Brunello di Montalcino has been controlled by the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita ) and is now one of Italy's best wines. By law this wine has to be aged for five years before it leaves the cellars. 

The Campo del Drago is superb! Very rich and complex! Are there others made at the winery? Yes we also have two toehrs wines that are 100% Sangiovese: the Brunello Di Montalcino and the Rosso Di Montalcino. Our Prima Pietra is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot..

How much wine do you produce per year? Between 200,000 and 300,000 bottles per year. How and where is it sold? Most of the wine is consumed in Europe- Italy, England, Germany – here in the States you find it some of the high end restaurants.

What other products do you produce? Olive Oil and Honey. (Then he broke out the latest bottle of olive oil just fedexed in from Italy and it was spectacular!)

How did you get to Millbrook? I was already living in the Sates for sometime, when my friend Barry Cord invited me up to the country for dinner one Saturday night in winter. It was dark when I arrived, but we had a lovely meal in front of the fire and enjoyed some terrific wine. I went to bed and when I awoke in the morning I discovered a winter wonderland. Everything was covered in fresh snow. And I knew this was where I wanted to have a home. 

Ok, if you are home alone – no wife, no children no guests to impress and you just want to please yourself. What do you make for dinner?  Pasta of course…and then just open the refrigerator to decide what I would put with it. 

If you could relive one meal of your life which would it be? 

The meal I had with Frederic Fekkai and Jorge Mora. We had just finished a walk up shoot and we had a lunch here in front of the fire - of eggs, tagliatelle, toasted bread with good olive oil – all covered with fresh white truffles and we drank 1982 Margaux! Ah! It was wonderful!

 

PS : These wonderful wines will soon be available at Arlington Wine & Liquor.