One of the joys of importing: forging lifelong friendships.

The wines of Piero Benevelli from Monforte deserve a separate post and this post is not about his wines, but the person that he is. Three years ago at Vinitaly we met Massimo and his wife Denise after my father kept at me to try the wines of Benevelli. When I finally wilted and tried the wines, I was flabbergasted with the quality he was churning out and each day during Vinitaly I went back and tried his wines to make sure I wasn’t overlooking something. Well I wasn’t and the success we have had via Mondo Imports for his wines in Australia is a reflection of this quality across the board.

More importantly, in the fifteen or so years I have spent in the wine trade, I have never come across a person so kind, warm and genuine as Massimo. Last year, my younger brother Stefano (pictured to the right in the picture above) spent time with Massimo in Monforte and this year he returned the favour by doing vintage at our winery Hoddles Creek Estate in the Yarra Valley.

Whilst the vintage was slow to begin with and we only really started picking towards the end of Massimo’s stay in Australia, it was amazing to spend time with him and introduce Massimo to some of Australia’s greatest winemakers (Rick Ginzbunner) and best journalists (Jane Faulkner). It is testament to the person that the other two people who did  vintage at Hoddles this year, Sam Barry from Jim Barry Wines and Yukiyasu Kaneko from Salt (Toyko) are heading to Monforte to do a Barolo vintage with Massimo and his family this year.

Next year, I will definitely head back to Monforte (the picture below was at the Barolo Bar in Monforte from our visit last year) return the favour.


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