In 1877 when cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve near Florence, the region already had a centuries-old tradition of growing exceptional wine grapes.
Even so, the two Tuscan natives felt certain that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Tuscany had been heaped with good fortune-mineral-laden soils, the cooling influence of the Mediterranean Sea, the dry summers that wine grapes favor. And all those luscious, sun-drenched hills.
As word grew about the quality of Ruffino’s wines, the winery flourished. The cousins honed their expertise, and soon Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines, adopting the motto “here we make ideal wine.”
An Ideal Wine
Ruffino’s status was firmly establised both nationally and internationally when its Chanti won a Gold Medal at the 1881 Milan Wine Exhibition, a prise at the 1884 Nice Exhibition, and another Gold Medal at the 1885 Antwerp Exhibition. Intrigued by the winery‘s reputation, in 1890, the Duke of Aosta braved a long journey to taste the Ruffino wines he had heard so much about. He was so impressed by the wines that he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian royal family.
In 1927, Ruffino returned some of the honor bestowed upon its wines by releasing its first vintage of Riserva Ducale—named after the Duke of Aosta as an acknowledgement of his esteemed patronage. The reputation of Ruffino wines continued to spread, and Ruffino soon began to export its wines to the United States and other countries. In fact, the first Chianti imported to the U.S. was Ruffino.
The secret to producing the best Tuscan wines means access to the best vineyards. With this philosophy in mind, Ruffino has a collection of estates in Tuscany‘s most important wine appellations.
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