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Fiorano was an Italian wine-producing estate owned by Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, a prince of Venosa of the Ludovisi family, active during a period from the late 1940s to 1995. Fiorano is situated in the vicinity of Rome near the Via Appia Antica in the Latium district.
Famed wine writer Burton Anderson dubbed Fiorano's wines 'the noblest Romans of them all' in his 1980 anthology Vino.
The estate, its methods, wines and its proprietor were all noted for their unorthodoxy in comparison to norms of the wine industry. Though limited in terms of fame, the red wine and two white wines produced at Fiorano during its period of activity achieved reputations for innovation and longevity.
Since the late 1960s a small number of devout 'cognoscenti', especially among restaurant owners in Rome, knew about the extraordinary qualities of the two whites Fiorano Bianco (100% Malvasia) and Fiorano Riserva Semillon, and overcame numerous obstacles in order to get the wines.
While the Boncompagni Ludovisi family lineage may be traced back ca. 1,000 years, the Fiorano estate, located 14 km (8.7 mi) from Rome, had viticulture from local grape varieties first starting in the 1930s. Prince Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi inherited the estate in 1946, and replaced the existing vines with the Bordeaux international grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sémillon as well as Malvasia di Candia. This change of viticultural direction took place several years ahead of what later became a trend. Prince Boncompagni Ludovisi also practiced organic agriculture during an era when chemical agriculture methods were more commonplace. This happened after consultation with Dr. Giuseppe Palieri who remained an advisor until his death. Later, Boncompagni Ludovisi received advice from Dr. Tancredi Biondi Santi, of whom he was a fan since tasting a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino Biondi
Santi 1946 which he described in letter to him as "a majestic red, severe, masculine, medieval".
The wines were almost unknown until Italy's famous wine and food critic Luigi Veronelli
discovered them by chance in the early 1960s. Veronelli recounted his first meeting with the Prince: 'I was in Latium writing on the region's wines, and while driving on the ancient Appian Way I spotted the most beautiful vineyards. I followed the road until I came to an imposing estate where I stopped and rang the bell. When nobody responded I tried the gate and found it open. Audaciously I went in and was walking around when I suddenly heard the sound of horse hooves racing up behind me. I turned and found myself looking down the barrel of a gun.' After Veronelli explained who he was and his interest in the vineyards, the Prince invited Veronelli to try his wines. 'As soon as I tried his wines, I knew he truly was a prince' said Veronelli, who convinced him to sell some of the wines, up to then only for personal consumption.