Brunello Cucinelli is adding winemaking to the long and luxurious list of fields he plays in.
This week, the philosopher, philanthropist and purveyor of some of the world’s best cashmere unveiled his first bottle of wine to a group of friends, journalists and investors in Milan. Called Castello del Solomeo, the vineyard and its first product have been in the works since at least 2011, when vines for the 2018 vintage were planted.
The vineyard, which is in the Perugian town of Solomeo (about halfway between Rome and Florence), spans nearly 15 acres which are planted with three kinds of soil. Each has been carefully matched to a specific grape variety including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, all of which are incorporated into the red blend.
More than 20,000 vines line the vineyard’s wave-patterned rows. Grapes were planted this way to make the vineyard similar to a “garden,” underscoring its need for periodic and specific manual maintenance. It also allows the plants to receive the maximum amount of light and aeration. Like other landmarks in Solomeo, the town where Cucinelli’s company is based and where its products are produced, the vineyard has been restored by Cucinelli over the years. And like the other Cucinelli facilities in the town, it’s integral to the quality of the product.
“I like to think that our grapes can finally tell their own story of beauty,” Cucinelli says of the new wine in a statement. “I believe there is nothing more beautiful than sharing this precious fruit, born out of a long process of care and custody, with lifelong friends and loved ones.”
“The fruit of the vine, together with the oil, which I have been producing for many years, is a primordial symbol of the Earth that has been handed down to us from time immemorial,” he added. “I imagine wine from Solomeo as an act of filial sacredness towards the Earth, which inspires me in every choice, in life, in work, in the enchanted landscape.”
Fans of Brunello Cucinelli will note it has sold other lifestyle items like armchairs, pillows, candles and travel accessories for years—and especially good customers may have even received a complimentary bottle of the brand’s not-for-sale Italian olive oil, also grown in Solomeo. But wine, like a great cashmere sweater, is the kind of thing that should get better with age.