Earlier this year, a group of Brazilian investors acquired the 500-year old Tuscan property from Countess Noemia Marone Cinzano for a rumored 40 to 50 million euros ($53.8–$67.2 million).
Following the sale, Italian wine expert and journalist Franco Ziliani expressed concern that foreign investors were only in Montalcino to make money.
However, the new owners have indicated their intentions by starting work on restoring the winery and cellar. Later this year, they plan to increase the property’s vineyard plantings from 125 to 150 acres (from 50 to 60 hectares).
The newly planted vines will produce a varietal sangiovese with IGT status while they mature.
“Over the years, it is possible that these vines will be used to replace some of the old vines used for Brunello in order to optimize quality," Bernardino Sani, Argiano's export manager, told Wine-Searcher. "However, this is all to be determined after the vines have gone through a couple years of production and can be evaluated."
Argiano was implicated in the Brunellogate affair, but was acquitted by the Siena tribunal court in May. The court concluded “there was no evidence to support the charges” that the estate had broken the region’s winemaking laws by adding international varieties to its Brunello (which must be 100 percent sangiovese).
“This ruling, following the media hype which caused the scandal that enraged wine lovers throughout the world, sees Argiano emerge as the only winery in Montalcino to be prosecuted, appeal and be absolved of all charges,” said Argiano in a statement published by its New York wine importer, Vias, earlier this year.