Luce has gone much further than was originally envisioned when it started as a project over 20 years ago by The Marchese Vittorio Frescobaldi and Californian wine legend Robert Mondavi.
Today the estate has some of the most exceptional vineyards in Montalcino and, as of 2018, a state of the art winery to nurture every step of the winemaking process. The original vision, however, remains the same: to produce a bold and ambitious Super Tuscan that reflects the culture of Montalcino.
Located in the hills of southwest Montalcino, the original site was identified for its quality by the Marchese Vittorio Frescobaldi in the 1960s, Luce was the first winery in Montalcino to produce a wine blended from Merlot and Sangiovese, resulting in a decadent, luxurious expression of the two varieties.
The brand's iconic name and packaging (Luce translates to "light" in Italian) was inspired by the altar at Santo Spirito in Florence – a landmark church built on land donated by the Frescobaldi family during the Renaissance.
The Frescobaldi's took over full responsibility for the estate in 2004. The estate today consists of 615 acres of land, 217 of which are planted to vines – Sangiovese is planted in the higher elevation parcels (up to 1500 feet), which are rich in sandstone and limestone, while the lower altitude clay plots are better suited to Merlot. The Merlot is normally harvested mid-September, the Sangiovese three to four weeks later. The two varieties are blended after fermentation and aged in 100% new French oak barrels.
In 2017, the estate announced the completion of a brand new wine cellar, with state-of-the-art vinification facilities and a new dedicated winemaking team led by Stefano Ruini, who has more than 20 years of experience working for several estates in the Médoc region of Bordeaux.