Inside the Secret New Offering From One of Tuscany's Oldest Wine-Making Families

The Fresocbaldi family has been making wine in Italy for 700 years. Today the clan produces over 11 million bottles annually, from its six Tuscan estates.

And much of the family's global success is the result of a joint venture formed with Napa Valley legend Robert Mondavi back in the early 1990s.

Some 22 years later, the top-rated wines created from that venture, named Luce, have appreciated and are collectibles since the production still is so small.

We recently had the pleasure of spending time with Marchese Lamberto Frescobaldi, of the thirtieth generation, who is now president of the Marchesi Frescobaldi group, at Osteria della Pace in Eataly in downtown Manhattan, to talk about the expansion of Luce and his views on the global economy.

Luce - The Light

It actually was Robert Mondavi who reached out to the Frescobaldis, fully knowing they were one of the premiere winemaking families in Tuscany, to suggest a joint venture.

Mondavi was no stranger to these types of projects. Back in 1968, he began talking to the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild of the world renowned Chateau Mouton Rothschild about a joint project. The result would be Opus One, which is still one of the world's top-rated wines.

Luce was born in the early 1990s, when Lamberto's father Vittorio and Robert Mondavi united their passion and traditions and create this venture in Montalcino, Italy.

The JV was official in 1995 and the first wines were released in 1997.

The wine was named Luce, because "on one very windy miserable day in Tuscany, a beam of light came through the clouds and [Margrit, Robert's wife,] said, "Luce!" which translates to light.

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