The wine-growing estate called Il Paradiso di Frassina dates from 2000 when it was founded by Giancarlo Cignozzi, a lawyer from Milan with 35 years’ experience. Giancarlo had been a frequent visitor to the Montalcino region since 1972, having founded from scratch Tenuta Caparzo, considered today as among the most renowned wineries in Montalcino, and having helped inspire the creation of other leading wineries like Altesino and Gianfranco Soldera’s Case Basse.

During this time Giancarlo befriended and supported the great wine writer Luigi Veronelli, whilst also supporting Montalcino’s smaller producers and the concept of cru or terroir-driven, non-interventionist wines. In addition, Giancarlo also played a leading role advising the Consorzio di Brunello (the Brunello wine producers’ consortium).

Whilst Brunello started to grow, almost unknown to the world, Giancarlo was an active figurehead for the smaller producers who opposed the new, larger and more industrial-oriented wineries which soon began arriving in the Brunello zone.

Together with other purists in Montalcino, in the last few years Giancarlo had led the fight to defend the notion that Montalcino’s red wines (Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino) should only ever be made 100% from the Sangiovese Grosso (or ‘Brunello’) grape variety, and not blended with other non-traditional (foreign) grapes.