Conte Brandolini

Count Brandino Brandolini's true passion is revealed in his role as owner and winemaker at his family's historic Vistorta estate in northeast Italy's Friuli region, just 25 miles north of Venice. This down-to-earth, Venetian-born graduate of Texas A&M and the University of Bordeaux took the helm at Vistorta in the 1980s. Influenced by his experience in Bordeaux and recognizing the outstanding potential of his family's estate vineyards (planted with Merlot for over a century), Brandolini set out to produce a world-class red wine from Vistorta.

Working with his close friend and colleague Georges Pauli, winemaker at Chateau Gruaud-Larose and consultant to a number of leading Bordeaux properties, Brandolini implemented a series of radical improvements at the estate. Using select Merlot clones from Bordeaux alongside his existing Merlot vines, Brandolini implemented a system of high-density planting in Vistorta's well-drained, limestone-rich vineyards. Here, protective mountain ranges to the north and west combine with the moderating influence of the Adriatic Sea to create a superb microclimate for the cultivation of outstanding Merlot grapes. Now, 20 years later, Vistorta enjoys a reputation as one of northeast Italy's most sought-after red wines.

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