The sun rises over a patchwork of vineyards in southern Tuscany, painting the sky in a palette of soft pastels. Medieval towers rise from hilltop villages in the distance and wispy threads of mist hover above the valleys below. There is nothing to disturb the early morning stillness.
It’s easy to see how Giovanni Bulgari fell in love with this magical landscape, a world away from the frenetic streets and fashion boutiques of Rome just two hours down the highway. The 37-year-old Bulgari is a member of the Italian dynasty known around the world for its elegant jewellery and watches. Now Giovanni and his father, Paolo, are hoping to transfer the family’s golden touch to their own wine label.
“My father discovered it. He telephoned me and said ‘I found this place and thought of you’,” says Giovanni of the abandoned vineyard the pair bought in 2004. The 22-hectare Podernuovo estate is just outside the tiny town of Palazzone in the Tuscan hills. Siena is about 100km away. Close by is San Casciano dei Bagni, famous for thermal baths dating back to the ancient Etruscans.