Interview with Salvatore Ferragamo – IL BORRO
These questions ask a bit about different topics. But to start though, what inspired you to start Il Borro Winery ?
My father and I agreed on our main objective right from the start, that of bringing a historic corner of Tuscany – abandoned and in ruins – back to life. This pointed us towards two diverse activities which are intrinsically linked: wine production and tourism. From the very beginning my father and I knew that we should produce wine at il Borro because of the fertility and variety of the soil. Millions of years ago, there was a huge lake covering this entire area, and the subsequent draining of this body of water created a unique terrain (with mineral-rich plains, steep gorges and gently sloping valleys) which gives us the fertile soil we have today.
Did you always know wine very well? Is this the first Ferragamo owned winery?
Being Italian I imagine you grew up drinking great wine! I’m Tuscan and like all Tuscans, I have wine in my soul. It is our first winery as a family, and my uncle Massimo has another beautiful winery in Montalcino, also in Tuscany in the province of Siena. You could say that wine is in our blood
The images of your resort look absolutely fantastic! How would you describe the experience of Il Borro as a vacation spot?
The Borro welcomes its guests into a world of peace and serenity, kept alive and enriched from its illustrious history, which can be experienced in every corner of the medieval village.
What would be the perfect day at the Il Borro Estate?
One wakes up in the Tuscan morning, sunshine streaming through the windows of an elegant, traditional apartment in the medieval village, circa 1040. After a lovely walk through the village and its beautiful artisanal shops and a charming breakfast, a horseback ride through the vineyards awaits, replete with a wine, cheese and Tuscan meat picnic. Afternoons can be spent lounging by the pool and soaking in the surrounding countryside. For an extra bit of pampering, the spa beckons, ready to relax the soul and soothe the senses.
A winery tour and tasting just before dinner acts as a cultural aperitif: an introduction to Il Borro wines and a trip through the winemaking facility, with a stunning underground tunnel lined with French oak barrels where we age our wines, and on to a cellar dating from the 1700s.
To finish it off, we suggest a candlelit dinner in the Osteria del Borro restaurant, allowing our prominent chefs to reinterpret Tuscan classics with modern flare.
Obviously everyone knows that the name Ferragamo is synonymous with outstanding quality and impressive craftsmanship. Have you taken into consideration all those very high Ferragamo standards and translated them into Il Borro? Would you say it has the Ferragamo “seal of approval ” on it?
The secret of every important company is to follow its own “style and being up to date, without forgetting the uniqueness of its personality. The “seal” of approval is evident every day and in every effort I make to ensure that our guests are happy. Il Borro is my father’s private estate, which we have commercialized into a resort, winery and spa. It is not part of the Ferragamo fashion company.
Back to wine . . . What varietals do you grow at the property?
We cultivate Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Chardonnay.
How much do your bottles retail for? Where in the US can people buy Il Borro wine? For someone who has never tried your wine, which bottle would you recommend?
We sell our wines in the US through a distributor, who places our bottles in prominent wine bars, restaurants and shops. There are four wines that we make here at Il Borro, two of which are single varietals, namely Lamelle (Chardonnay) and Polissena (Sangiovese) as well as two blends, Pian di Nova (Syrah and Sangiovese) and Il Borro (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot). For someone who is new to our wines, I would recommend Il Borro, which is a Bordeaux-style wine that reflects both our fertile and rich Tuscan soil as well as French winemaking tradition. We’ve adopted a local public school, working with the teachers, children, and their families and have fostered the creation of a sister organization working with schools and children in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area.
On another note, La Isla made a bikini for your wife. What did you think of the product?
The La Isla Bikini was spectacular. My grand father started making his shoes all by hand with incredible craftsmanships using all sorts of exotic materials. In seeing the incredible craftsmanship of this bikini it reminded me of his works. And not only the craftsmanship but also the cut and Look looks great on my wife!!!
How does Salvatore spend his weekends usually?
Depends on the time of year! From November to January, I hunt pheasants, and from January to April, I go skiing, golfing, or biking. From April to October, I play Polo with a brief summer break in August…..
Which global issue concerns you the most at this time, and how have you taken action on it?
Preserving the history and culture of the old traditions and saving them for future generations.
Thank you so much for bearing with us. For our last question, what is your favorite quote and why?
The most important sign of civilization is wine – E Hemingway