Salvatore Ferragamo, Winery Owner and Fashion Leader

We talk to the heir of the storied Ferragamo fashion empire, who replanted the family's Il Borro vineyard and has been releasing Tuscan wines since 1999.
Photo by Simone Giannini

You can’t talk about fashion without a mention of luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo, one of Italy’s most storied fashion houses. The founder’s son and current company president, Ferruccio, bought Il Borro—a 1,700-acre property that includes a medieval village, in the heart of Tuscany—in 1993. Extensive renovations restored the property back to its original splendor. Today, under the direction of Ferruccio’s son, Salvatore, the firm turns out polished wines that boast structure and finesse.

Do you see a connection between wine and fashion?

Fashion and wine are both a question of lifestyle, personal taste and sensibility. When I was growing up, I was surrounded by a spirit of fine craftsmanship and careful attention to details that are the hallmarks of “Made in Italy.” My family has always believed that this approach is the best way to express creativity, tradition and quality, and it’s true in both fashion and wine. For example, all of the grapes that go into our wines are carefully chosen by passionate hands that give each bottle its own character.

“Fashion and wine are both a question of lifestyle, personal taste and sensibility.”

When did you become seriously interested in wine?

Growing up in Tuscany, wine was always an essential part of my family’s life and was always on the table to accompany our meals. Three years after my father bought Il Borro, which had been completely abandoned, I was able to convince him to replant the vineyards and bring back to life another strong tradition of this magnificent property: winemaking. We launched our first Il Borro label in 1999.

Salvatore Ferragamo with Il Borro's 2016 harvest / Photo by Michelle Davis
Salvatore Ferragamo with Il Borro’s 2016 harvest / Photo by Michelle Davis

What was it that originally attracted you to the Il Borro estate? When did you first see it?

When I came to Il Borro for the first time, I was very young, but I can still clearly remember the strong contrast between the abandoned buildings and the neglected fields and vineyards, which had suffered heavy land erosion, and the magnificent nature all around the property. I chose early on to be involved and to oversee the rebirth of this historical place. Not only because I wanted to make wine here, but also because I like to be surrounded by nature…. And it’s a real pleasure to carry on the ancient tradition of these lands, to grow grapes and organic produce in a natural way.

Italians love to pair wine and food. Do you have a favorite food pairing with one of your Il Borro wines?

I actually have two: pappa al pomodoro paired with our Pian di Nova, which is a blend of 75-percent Syrah and 25-percent Sangiovese. And also a Chianina T-bone steak that we prepare from the beef of our own cows at Il Borro, paired with Polissena, a 100-percent Sangiovese.

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What’s in your private cellar? Any specific wines you’re excited about right now?

In my private cellar, I have Masseto, Tignanello, Guado al Tasso, Ornellaia and Sassicaia, but also Château Haut-Brion. I enjoy drinking wines from different regions, and lately I’ve been drinking Accendo from Napa. The 2013 is showing really well right now.

Do you have a desert-island bottle?

I enjoy bubbles, so if I were on a desert island, I’d want Bolle di Borro 2011, our new método classico rosé, made with 100-percent Sangiovese and fermented on its lees for 48 months.

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Published on March 29, 2017
Topics: Wine & Fashion
About the Author
Kerin O’Keefe
Italian Editor

Reviews wines from Italy

Italian Editor Kerin O’Keefe reviews all Italian wines for Wine Enthusiast. Previously she wrote regularly on Italian wine for Wine News, World of Fine Wine and Decanter. She is the author of Franco Biondi Santi: The Gentleman of Brunello (2005), Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and Appreciating One of Italy's Greatest Wines (2012) and Barolo and Barbaresco: The King and Queen of Italian Wine (2014).

Email: kokeefe@wineenthusiast.net.




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