Salvatore Ferragamo, Owner Il Borro, Tuscany, Italy
Salvatore Ferragamo, one of Italy’s most storied fashion houses, stands for Haute Couture and Prêt-à-porter. So did Tuscany regarding Supertuscans. Il Borro - a 1,700-acre property that includes in the heart of Tuscany, was bought by founder’s son and current company president, Ferruccio, which is currently run by Ferruccio’s son, Salvatore. We spoke with Salvatore Ferragamo about the winery, sustainability and the relation between fashion and wine embraced by the coolest outfits of the current fashion edition.
Creativity, tradition and quality belongs to wine. In how far this manifests at Il Borro?
At Il Borro creativity, tradition and quality are the heart of our philosophy. All our farming precises at Il Borro is organic farming, and we follow some bio dynamic farming practices. We produce wines according to the terroir by matching the different vines according to the different soil types we have on the property.
Our range of wines vary form IGT like our flag ship wine the Il Borro Toscana wine a blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah and Petiti verdaux. We also grow wine according to the tradition as we have inactivated an old DOC called the Valdarno di Sopra DOC (one of the first 4 DOC of Tuscany, some 300 years ago.)
The Polissena wine one of this wines its a cru of Sangiovese. We have also experimented on the versatility of Sangiovese in making a champenoise style rose from our early harvest Sangiovese grapes resting the grapes on the yeast for 48 months and we have used the Sangiovese to make a wine called Petruna that is made from anfora (clay pots instead of Barriques).
To what extent did wine making change your perspective and your personal perception since the launch in 1999?
In 1999 we only produces the Il Borro toscana label and in conventional farming methods. As of 2011 we started our conversion process to organic farming and have added new products to the portfolio as described above.
Of course Tuscan wines are hard to top, but is there a German wine that you still remember?
Unfortunately I do not drink many German wines. I am sure there must be some very interesting Rieslings I am sure i would enjoy.
Fashion gets wine and wine gets fashion. How would dress up your wine and how tastes the upcoming Salvatore collection.
I am sorry but despite carrying my grand fathers name I am the farmer of the family I produce the wines of the Borro. But I will try and describe the wine with the Ferragamo collection compared to our Flagship wine the Il Borro Toscana.
The Il Borro Toscana is like a very elegant but classical gentleman and like so he would wear more the classical look of Ferragamo with the Tramezza hand made show collection a pin stripe double breasted navy blue suit but a colourful and vibrant type to reflect the classical taste, elegant finish but with a unique complexity of the tannins with a lively and mature fruit forward finish.
In recent years the fashion industry experienced a higher segmentation, so did wine. Which customer preferences you see in the future and how Il Borro will react to these tendencies?
I feel that is is important to stay in front of the trends, today we have concentrated in organic and bio dynamic farming practises but we have also explored and committed to innovation and uniqueness as well as tradition with our diverse product base, ranging from the Borro Toscana, to the Bolle di Borro champenoise style rose, the Polissena Cru of Sangiovese and our anfora wine Petruna.
Which fashion design thrills you currently, which character of a wine you prefer?
I enjoy wine form different regions, vintages and grape varieties. I feel this is the beauty of wine that is alive in the bottle and it has an amazing diversity and evolution over time, I feel in a wine the most important aspect is balance.
For the fashion side I have much less experience but I enjoy also Zegna cloths even though I have to say I mostly wear Ferragamo.
Kind of a neighbour Sting has announced this year at ProWein to merge wine with his concerts. Where can we find a Ferragamo cross selling between fashion and wine?
We actually try to keep the two business separate as we would like to build over time a strong customer base that enjoy our wine due to the quality, diversity and innovativeness of our wine and not because they are endorsed by a farmhouse name.
Organic wine and sustainability gets more important. What about fashion, to what extent sustainability enters into the Ferragamo brand?
I believe as Ferragamo we have used special material for specific shoe collections from recycled leather products and we have a seal of excellence for our logistical efforts to limit our carbon emission.