How did you start in the wine industry? How has the company changed over the years?
Mario: My great-grandfather, Angiolo Piccini , founded the company with his wife Maria Teresa Totti more than a century ago when he bought a small plot of vineyards in Poggibonsi, just south of Florence. My grandfather Mario took over the company in the 1920s and he began to export our wines overseas. He taught us that success comes with responsibility, and that everything that we do is both for the past and for the future. My father, Pierangelo, followed closely into my grandfathers’ steps and under his guidance, we expanded our portfolio of wines. I joined the business when I was 20 years old, and from the very beginning my father made it very clear that we would go nowhere without energy and passion, that there is a big difference between inheriting a company and building one. We built this one as a team.
You are famous for using the colour orange on many of your labels, why is this?
Martina: My father wanted a traditional red label that’s almost always used for Chianti wines, and Mario wanted an innovative yellow one. I suggested orange as a compromise! We’ve taken that orange and have applied it to everything we do – I like to think it represents the energy and passion of Piccini!
What else makes you different to many other Italian producers?
Mario: Unlike so many other famous producers in Tuscany, and indeed Italy, the Piccini family was never from ‘blue blood’ stock. Our forefathers were people who worked in the vineyards and this is who we still are - the people of the land.
How important is a hands-on approach?
Martina: There is this very old saying, but the truth of it remains as relevant as ever: excellent wines are born in the vineyards. The vineyard is not a place where compromises are made, because nature is in charge.
Mario: And there is only one way to make the wines I believe in, that is to be involved in every aspect of every bottle that bears Piccini name, from the vineyard, to the winery, to the cellars through to bottling the wine.
Finally, what does Chianti mean to you?
Mario: As our father used to say, Chianti is like an old friend who never disappoints you. Chianti is the wine that represents our origins and 130 years of our winemaking tradition.
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