The iconic owner of Tuscany’s Case Basse winery, Gianfranco Soldera, suffered a heard attack while driving on the morning of 16 February.
Born in Treviso, Soldera was successfully working as an insurance broker in Milan in 1972 when he and his wife, Graziella, went in search of a winery. He found Case Basse, near the town of Tavernelle in Montalcino. There were no vineyards, but Soldera thought that the poor soils on the hillside were ideal for the Sangiovese. He gradually planted 21 acres, cultivating the land without chemical pesticides. In the cellars, he adopted a traditional approach, maturing his wines in very large Slavonian oak vats called botti.
In 2012, he was the victim of a former employee who damaged the winery, destroying nearly 6,000 cases of wine from the 2007 to 2012 vintages.
Soldera is survived by his wife, two children and several grandchildren.