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In the Fifties a friend invited Nicola Longo to Chianti in Tuscany. He was fascinated by the rolling hills, vast forests, pinewoods, olive groves, well-tended vineyards and sleepy villages, and reminded of his grandfather who used to take him to see his vineyards in Puglia. Suddenly it all became clear to his businessman’s eyes: “I want to grow wine here”. A passion for the land and the vineyards had always been dormant in the heart of this engineer, director of the family company Policarbo, specialising in heating and air-conditioning systems.

After a long, hard search, Nicola Longo finally found “his” land. Fifty hectares covered with woods and a vineyards abandoned for decades, with a farmhouse and over five thousand clucking chickens. The owner had lost interest in the property and it was now almost a ruin. Passionate energy was needed to rebuild a modern winery in just a few years.

In 1972 Nicola Longo bought the property and began building Montiverdi. The chicken house disappeared and the old farmhouse was converted into a lovely, comfortable home. Of course, Nicola also built a winery and planted 20 hectares of vineyards around it, growing the classic Chianti wine grapes - Sangiovese, Canaiolo nero, Malvasia, and Trebbiano on the stony, limestone-based land called Galestro. After 1989, two hectares of cabernet sauvignon were also planted at Montiverdi, but the main variety remained the Sangiovese.

The first harvest was in 1977 but initially Nicola Longo had no commercial ambitions. He simply wanted to make good wine for himself and his friends. As a true perfectionist he did not bottle his wine until 1985 because he did not consider the early vintages to be worth it.

Today the Longo family come down from Milan every year to help at the harvest. Annual Montiverdi production is aorund 1000 hl: alongside the Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva, are two table wines, four Chianti Classico Crus and two fdifferent Vin Santos. The Riserva and Crus are only bottled in epecially favourable years.

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