The Sis­ters of Fon­terenza

SAVEUR - - Eat The World -

In the sto­ried hills of Mon­tal­cino, Ital­ian twins make wine the old way—sur­rounded by fam­ily and guided by the phases of the moon

BY DANIELLE PERGAMENT IT’S NOT THE KIND OF PLACE where you’d ex­pect great wines were be­ing made. Bras and T-shirts are strewn on a cloth­ing rack, turn­ing dry and stiff in the re­lent­less sun. Chil­dren’s toys and wooden bikes, tem­po­rar­ily for­got­ten, are scat­tered around the stone ter­race. And two women, shout­ing to each other from some­where in the house, are ei­ther re­ally mad or sim­ply Ital­ian.

This is Campi di Fon­terenza, a bio­dy­namic win­ery in the Tus­can hill­top town of Mon­tal­cino. It’s also home to Francesca and Margherita Padovani, identical-twin sis­ters who have been mak­ing a for­mi­da­ble Brunello di Mon­tal­cino since 2004.

“This was our par­ents’ sum­mer home,” says Francesca, who moved here from Mi­lan with her sis­ter al­most 20 years ago. The sis­ters Padovani are like beau­ti­ful agrar­ian hip­sters—thick dark hair, chis­eled fea­tures, worn linen shirts, Blund­stones—and their rise to wine­mak­ers (“I pre­fer vi­g­naiole,” or grape grow­ers, Francesca tells me) was un­likely. Farm­ing didn’t run in the fam­ily— but it’s hard to have a sub­stan­tial plot of land in Mon­tal­cino, even if you call it a sum­mer home, with­out en­ter­tain­ing the idea of mak­ing wine. The women planted some vines, and with no for­mal train­ing, gave it a shot.

“In the be­gin­ning, we made many mis­takes,” says Margherita. “Once, dur­ing my first har­vest, I pulled the wrong lever on the trac­tor, and in­stead of ac­cel­er­at­ing, I lifted the back of the trac­tor, which was full of grapes. I nearly lost them all. An­other time, I pulled the wrong

From left: San­giovese grapes; twin sis­ters Francesca (left) and Margherita Padovani.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.