This week we will be travelling back to Tuscany to take a look at one of the winemakers that has really started to create a reputation for itself in the area, which is no mean feat given the competition that is dotted around the Tuscany region.

The Avignonesi winery has been developing quite the reputation for itself over the last few years, with a multi-cultural team that contains people from all over the globe combining to bring fresh ideas to the winemaking process, allowing them to make some truly remarkable vintages in the process.

Here we take a slightly closer look at what makes the winery tick, in addition to reviewing one of their most impressive wines to date.

The History

The Avignonesi winery is named, as are so many others in Italy, after the family he founded the estate so many years ago. Though the name still remains, it is essentially a memory of a bygone time, with the family itself not being involved in the winemaking process, certainly not to the same level that they were when the estate was first founded.

The winery has dedicated itself to constant research and development over the years, with the overall aim of taking away many of the chemicals and other human-created substances that are used by many other winemakers in an effort to most accurately reflect the Montepulciano terroir in their wines. This has led to them taking on a more organic route since the company was taken over by a new owner in 2009, which has led to the creation of some very complex and interesting wines. In fact, the quality being outputted at the present time has led to the winery developing a reputation as one of the finest that Tuscany has to offer, particularly in terms of truly representing the land that makes up the region for what it is.

The Avignonesi winery was taken over by Virginie Saverys, who hails from Belgium, in 2009 and it was during this period that the concepts of organic and biodynamic farming were introduced to the winery. These methods have been used ever since to craft genuine wines that stand apart from others in the region simply because they better reflect the properties of the land that was used to grow the grapes. This gives them a stronger and more complex character that has intrigued practically everybody who has tried a bottle.

As the company’s reputation has grown, Virginie has taken it upon herself to expand her team and acquire a number of other vineyards and other winemaking facilities in the Montepulciano appellation. Not only has this allowed the company to continue increasing its production levels as demand starts rising, but also offers them the opportunity to experiment with new wines and techniques at their leisure.

Today the company operates under the belief that the life force of the earth and the unique terroir of the land on which they work is right at the heart of their brand and influences every winemaking decision that the company makes.

This has led to the re-popularisation of the Avignonesi name in recent years, with the reputation of the company being reborn, in a sense, thanks to its renewed focus on biodynamic and organic wines. This approach ensures that the wines created by the company are more reflective of the land at a particular point in time and it is not uncommon for one year’s vintage to differ quite considerably from the last due to the changes that the land will have undergone during the year.

With respect for the heritage of the Montepulciano territory and a wish to bring the joys of that region to as many people as possible, Avignonesi aims to continue the fine tradition of quality Sangiovese wines that the region has been known for over the centuries, making use of new techniques in the process.

Now, Avignonesi has eyes on the future and the company hopes to forge its own path into the history books. Always respecting what came before but realising the potential offered by new techniques and fresh ideas, the company is building a reputation for quality that can be rivalled by few others in the region and is on the fast track to being recognised as one of the premier winemakers in all of Italy.

In recognition of their dedication to quality and the company’s ability to create some truly remarkable wines, we will be taking a closer look at one of the most interesting sweet red wines that the company has produced in recent years.

Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo 2000

Long name aside, this beautiful example of a sweet red wine has enchanted all who have tried it and it has quickly developed a reputation for high quality that has increased demand for the bottle quite considerably.

The company’s dedication to quality led to the wine being aged for more than a decade before it ever reached the market and it has continued to do so in the 16 years that have followed that launch. Avignonesi has been quick to point out that the wine has a remarkable capacity to age and become further refined while in the bottle, while still maintaining the characteristics that make it so unique. However, now is quickly becoming the best time to finally open it and share its joys with others.

To the nose, the wine brings enchanting aromas of citron, plums and fruit cakes, while you should also notice the Mediterranean herbs that provide an indication of the quality of the land where the grapes were grown.

This beautifully sweet wine will have you captivated from the very first sip and it is capable of offering a new sensory experience each time you take a taste. The long, nutty finish that you will enjoy after drinking only serves to add to the experience, offering an interesting contrast to all of the sweetness that came before. The wine is still suitable for long aging in the bottle, so it is up to you whether you age it further or give into temptation and enjoy it now.



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