By Cru Team

A legendary property within the stunning region of Montalcino, Conti Costanti is comprised of some of the finest terroir for growing Sangiovese in all of Tuscany. Neighbour to Biondi-Santi, the estate is currently helmed by the supremely talented Andrea Costanti who, over the last decade, has pushed his winery into the top tier of Montalcino with his 2019 estate Brunello even achieving perfection in the eyes of Kerin O'Keefe, who gave it a perfect 100 points. Members of our team have visited the estate a number of times of the years and we have always been hugely impressed with Andrea's work so we are pleased to be able to present a quickfire interview with the man himself as part of the Brunello 2019 campaign.


1.     What was the first truly great wine you can recall tasting?
Biondi Santi Brunello 1967 

2.     What is the most important wine pairing to you? Is it food, friends, music or location?
All together, if I have to select just one: friends 

3.     As the 6th generation of the estate, it must be an honour but also a lot of pressure – did you always have to go into wine?
Since I was very young I have breathed wine. I have run the estate since 1983.

4.     In your eyes, what do you think makes Conti Costanti wines special?
The terroir and its respect.

5.     If you could make wine anywhere else in the world, where would it be? (or if you prefer, what other wines from around the world really inspire you?)
One of my favorite production areas is the southern hemisphere – and especially South Africa.  I would love to do a harvest twice per year!

6.     What do you think about the role of Wine Critics in the Fine Wine Industry?
Respect is always the key word: the international wine critics have more sensibility and respect compared to the Italian ones.

7.     What vintages of Brunello are you personally enjoying drinking most at the moment?
2004 and 2006.

8.     Tell us why people are so enthusiastic about the 2019 vintage?
This vintage represents the difficult combination of power and extraordinary elegance. It is a great vintage. I harvested in late as I did for the 2016 vintage.

9.     There has been a lot more excitement around the estate in the last few years – what changes have you made in the vineyard or winery?
More attention on the production - late pruning – focus on prolonging life of the very old vines 

10.  What mistakes have you made as a winemaker?
During my first years as winemaker, I was very nervous and impatient for the harvest to start. Year after year, with more experience, I became conscious that I had to let the nature choose, picking grapes without the weather forecast fear. 

11.  What is your winemaking philosophy? Is it more art or science? What sort of wines are you trying to make?
Great sensibility and respect for the terroir and tradition in the vineyard, working in balance with the nature. I am an organic producer but without certifications. My work is in between art and science and I would like to add that intuition is very important to understanding every single feature of harvest. 

12.  How much of a challenge does climate change pose to Conti Costanti in the next 20 years? 
It is a big challenge, I am trying to produce more grapes compared to 5/8 years ago in order to avoiding any excessive concentration or loss of elegance in the wines. I believe in a less rigid pruning. In this way, I try to leave the grapes as longer as possible onto the vines. I look for a balance, with the natural practices such as grassing and avoiding harvesting too early.

13.  Many people talk about the long lifespan of great Brunello wines, what is the oldest vintage of your wines you have tried? How do you feel about your wines being drunk soon after release?
My oldest vintage was a 1964 vintage and now I am enjoying 2004 vintage very much. Some vintages are extremely long lasting and very powerful.

14.  How should collectors understand Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello Riserva categories, and how they differ from Regular Brunello di Montalcino?
These wines are totally different. Rosso di Montalcino is the Sangiovese youth expression, my suggestion is to enjoy this wine when young and fresh, don’t let it age. Brunello Riserva is a careful and particular selection done only in the great vintages, made for a long ageing period.

15.  Can our customers visit the estate if they wish?
Yes, of course.