Transparent, Ethical, Eco-Tech, Elegant.
Cardinal words in the Avignonesi dictionary.
N amed after the original founders of the estate, the Avignonesi family, the winery has undergone an exciting journey since it was first established. Acquired by Virginie Saverys in 2009, Avignonesi has grown in size and at the same time has become a leader in biodynamic viticulture in Italy. Since the acquisition and thanks to Virginie’s respect for the ecosystem, her staff and the final consumer, the winery has started producing and crafting organic wines that are truly authentic to their origins yet singular and unique. And in the best biodynamic approach our wines receive minimal intervention in the cellar! Sustainability also plays a big part in the everyday life at Avignonesi.
o date, the estate has grown to 175 hectares of vineyards including the purchase of a state-of-the-art winemaking facility in the Montepulciano appellation.
It is Virginie’s perseverance to look after the land and her compelling willingness to produce a wine that is quite unique and true to its origins that allowed for life to be brought back into the vineyards and created a healthier working environment for all staff.
The Avignonesi wines enhance the richness and elegance of the Montepulciano heritage. Sangiovese wines have been produced for centuries here, and the fascination that lies around this appellation is elevated by the ”back to basics, no un-natural intervention” approach that biodynamic viticulture entails.
This methodology and the passion shared by all staff for producing high quality products, due to the profound belief in the values shared by the management team, allows us to respect the innate character of each wine by following its natural journey from the soil to the cellar and, finally to the glass!
“Healthier wines for healthier people, but also a healthier land and a healthier environment to pass on to future generations.”
Born in Ghent, Belgium, Virginie graduated in law from the University of Paris in 1983. Before moving to Tuscany in 2007 and acquiring Avignonesi in 2009, Virginie had a highly successful legal career in Belgium. But her love and passion for fine wines, which has always been in the family, brought her to change career and country and pursue her dreams. In 2009 she bought the whole of Avignonesi with the intention of taking on an established winery recognised for its quality, innovative research and experimentation and take it to a new level of excellence. Her strong belief in organic products and homeopathic medicine meant introducing sustainable farming methods, by way of biodynamic viticulture, which has made Avignonesi today the largest biodynamic winery in Italy. Her aim for Avignonesi is to produce authentic, unique wines, that mirror the distinct identity of Montepulciano which are also healthier for her customers, land and future generations.
I was bitten by the wine bug a long time ago, but it really hit me hard when I arrived in Montepulciano, Tuscany. My mother, Virginie Saverys, had taken over the Avignonesi winery. Observing her and her team walking the vineyards and caring for every single bunch of grapes was so fascinating. The way they managed to bottle the message of each vintage in such a unique manner, giving voice to the land was like a budburst and I wanted to take a step further into this fascinating world.
When I turned 26, I opened my first wine bar in Antwerp, Avini.
I often visited Avignonesi and during one of their blending session I could not resist and I sneaked in. For fun, I tried my own little blend... and I fell in love on the spot. When I was looking for a name for this wine, it came only natural to refer to this intense and wine-fuelled year.
And that is how it all began.
Ventisei - 26 in italian - was born.
CEO / Winemaker
I want my wine to be true and authentic. Harmony in a glass.
Florentine by birth, Matteo’s appreciation for nature’s life cycle and belief in producing a wine that is authentic and respects the ecosystem, is reflected in his choice of wineries throughout his career. He studied oenology and viticulture at the University of Florence and later gained a Master in Oenology from the University of Bordeaux.
When Virginie Saverys gave me the opportunity to stay on at Avignonesi after my internship, I jumped at the chance.
After graduating in winemaking and viticulture at the University of Adelaide she moved to Italy in 2009, as she was offered an internship working for Avignonesi. This gave Ashleigh the opportunity to combine new world winemaking techniques with the traditions of the old world. All done following a biodynamic approach Ashleigh’s role at Avignonesi is not that of your typical oenologist. Working hand in hand with the agronomist and his team, she focuses her attention and hard work in understanding and interpreting the grapes and allowing them to express themselves freely in the glass.
Agronomist / Viticulturist
The spirit of innovation and curiosity which distinguishes the Avignonesi team has proved a perfect match for me.
Alessio joined Avignonesi in 2014. Born in Pistoia, Alessio has worked and studied in some of the most important wine areas in the world, including Bordeaux, Burgundy and New Zealand, where he has developed a very personal vision of what biodynamic viticulture entails.
He defines himself as a “foot-soldier of the vine”, as in his own words, to practice biodynamics, one must learn to read nature and work in synergy with the environment. At Avignonesi the heavy lifting is done in the vineyard and the relay race between the agronomist and the oenologist is a testament of their capacity to observe and act in the best interest of nature, fruit, staff and final consumer.
Virginie has offered me a challenge: to produce a genuine, healthy, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly product. This task inspires me each day to do my very best.
Piero started his career in winemaking at a family-run wine producer in Lucca. He then worked for many years as chief agronomist in a large, multinational wine producer with vineyards in Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano, allowing him to accrue experience and insight into the complexities of vineyard management. In 2013 he joined the Avignonesi team, where he rediscovered a family spirit and a company that is dedicated to its workers, nature, and the art of making wine.