Above: Brunelli’s celebrated Osteria Le Logge in Siena (photo courtesy Slow Travel).
The world of Italian wine mourns the loss of beloved Siena restaurateur and winemaker Gianni Brunelli, who died unexpectedly of natural causes on Saturday, November 15, at 61 years of age. A steadfast defender of traditional winemaking and a producer of acclaimed Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, Brunelli was also one of Siena’s most celebrated restaurateurs: his Osteria Le Logge is widely considered one of the best destinations for classic Tuscan cuisine and is a favorite of Italian and American wine writers, wine enthusiasts, and Montalcino winemakers. A beloved figure of the Tuscan wine community, Brunelli was known for his classic Tuscan wit and his colorful reflections on the artisanal food and wine traditions of Siena and Montalcino. His small estate in Podernovo, “Le Chiuse di Sotto,” received high marks from wine critics on both sides of the Atlantic. “A larger than life” winemaker, as one blogger put it, Brunelli was remembered fondly yesterday in blog posts by VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani (in Italian) and by English-language Italian wine blogs Avvinare and Mondosapore.