Episode 305 of I’ll Drink to That! has been released and it features Andrea Boscu Bianchi Bandinelli of Villa di Geggiano, the Chianti Classico producer.
This interview is a capsule history of the last hundred years in Tuscany, really. Andrea’s forefather saw the perilous situation of his tenants under the sharecropping system, which essentially had its origins in feudal land arrangements, and gave to each family an amount of land for them to own themselves, dividing up his property amongst many new owners. He then established a cooperative winery dedicated to making the wine from the grapes of these different families. Each family could work their own parcel for the common good. This was in keeping with the spirit of the times. But fast forward to Andrea’s day, and the cooperative was in decline. There was no money for the repairs necessary to the family estate. It seemed that even the property remaining to his family would have to be sold. But by this now the idea of the Tuscan lifestyle had achieved a kind of renown of its own. A famous filmmaker decided that he would like to shoot a film at the property. And Andrea ended up making enough money from this arrangement to reinvest in his own wine label. It was a different arena for Tuscan wines now, and they could be sold around the world. Andrea was lucky enough early on to establish a connection with Kermit Lynch, the well known importer. And so Villa di Geggiano began a revitalization, which Andrea chronicles in this interview. Many of his innovations have been those that followed the conditions of today. It is often the case that the particular illustrates the whole, and that would seem to be true of the story of Villa di Geggiano and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
This episode also features a Warm Up from Erin on the Evolution of Chianti.
Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine