Ruffino Establishes Winemaking Council
International experts in viticulture and winemaking assemble for another bold step in the Tuscan wine house’s ambitious transformation.
Ruffino today announces the formation of the Ruffino Winemaking Council, an assembly of international experts in viticulture and winemaking working together to further elevate the Tuscan wine house as a beacon of uncompromising quality. Beginning this June, the acclaimed duo of agronomist Stefano Poni and oenologist Alberto Antonini will work collaboratively with Ruffino’s Chief Winemaker, Gabriele Tacconi, and Ruffino Estates Director, Maurizio Bogoni, to provide strategic vision and guidance to lead the brand into the future.
“It is an honor to have the combined excellence of Stefano Poni and Alberto Antonini, who both share Ruffino’s strong connection to Tuscany, famed experience with the Sangiovese grape, and great sensitivity to sustainability,” says Sandro Sartor, President and CEO of Ruffino. “Innovation and new perspectives are not only core to our values but are essential to our ambitions of establishing Ruffino as the ultimate Tuscan fine wine house.”
Knowing that great wine begins in the vineyard, Ruffino takes the highest level of care in and around its vineyards, with a focus on vineyard health and sustainability from the ground up. Identifying the right viticulturist to join the council was imperative to inspire ongoing innovation as well as address issues related to climate change. As a professor of Viticulture at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza and director of the lauded masters program dedicated to innovation in viticulture (Master VENIT), and with decades of experience, hundreds of scientific publications and numerous accolades, Stefano Poni brings an exceptional perspective and mastery to the council. “I welcome this appointment with much enthusiasm,” he says. “In recent years, climate change has shown us that careful management of the vineyards is fundamental to the quality of the wine and I deeply respect Ruffino for recognizing and acting on this.”
In the cellar, the winemaking council will draw on Ruffino’s nearly 150 years of winemaking expertise and spirit of innovation to further elevate the portfolio, beginning with the Chianti Classico wines and the globally recognized Riserva Ducale Oro. Joining the council to advise in the cellar is renowned winemaker Alberto Antonini, who attended the top oenology programs worldwide including at the University of Bordeaux, University of Florence, and University of California at Davis, before making his mark in the cellars at several leading Italian wineries.
“Wine is emotion, it is a fruitful encounter between people with a thousand-year history,” says Alberto. “Being a part of the Ruffino Winemaking Council, a Tuscan company of remarkable tradition and mastery of fine wine, is an honor and a great responsibility. I approach this from a perspective of collaboration, respect, and excitement for what we can accomplish together.”
The formation of the winemaking council represents another bold step in Ruffino’s brand transformation, which was recently announced alongside the acquisition of estate vineyards in the highly regarded wine region of Bolgheri. Ruffino’s commitment to quality, innovation and hospitality will also come to life through a new winery and wine tasting space on this newly acquired property, to be built over the next few years. It will complement Ruffino’s existing consumer experiences offered just outside of Florence at Poggio Casciano, where a newly renovated tasting room, restaurant, and overnight accommodations bring Ruffino’s signature style to life for lovers of wine, food and Italian culture.
Ruffino was founded in the heart of Tuscany in 1877 by cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino, who dreamed of bringing the “ideal wine” to tables around the world. For more than 140 years, Ruffino has been devoted to this dream, producing elegant, time-honored wines that set the standard for fine Tuscan wine and today are imported and enjoyed in over 80 countries worldwide.
Looking to the future, Ruffino is embarking on a momentous transformation to stand as a beacon of creative bravura, Italian savoir-faire, pioneering innovation and uncompromising quality that will elevate Ruffino and secure it as a cultural icon for generations to come. The transformation encompasses every aspect of the brand, from the vineyards and wineries to marketing and hospitality to a multi-year brand separation journey to establish Ruffino Estates as the ultimate Tuscan fine wine house and introduce Lumina as a leader in Italian sparkling wine and Pinot Grigio.
To learn more about Ruffino, visit www.ruffino.com or follow @ruffinowines on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter