Francesco Illy was a nature photographer who dreamed of being a winemaker, and not just any old wine either. Brunello di Montalcino red wine can only be produced in the vineyards in and around the Tuscan hilltop town of Montalcino. Illy realised that dream in 1984 when he bought the tumbledown plot of farmland, olive grove, forest and vineyard that became Podere Le Ripi, his biodynamic winery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Orcia Valley. The winery now has vineyards on two sides of Montalcino, growing Sangiovese, Syrah, Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes. The young winemaking team take great pride in the biodynamic practices at Podere Le Ripi, and their wines have been well received.