Pagli is the force behind some of the country’s best-known wines, such as Caprai’s Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni and Salvioni’s Brunello di Montalcino. However, Pagli is extremely famous in Argentina too, where he is credited with a major role in turning what was a local wine into the worldwide success story it is today.

     In 1992, Pagli was hired by Nicolas Catena to consult on a Sangiovese project in Mendoza, but once there, he realized the vines weren’t Sangiovese. Studying the vineyards led him to many old Malbec vines. ‘I was fascinated by its potential,’ he recalls ‘but back then nobody had much faith in Malbec.’ Pagli’s skill in reviving forgotten local varieties is clear in Italy too. He is the country’s biggest expert on Ciliegiolo, a red grape that makes beautiful, midweight, spicy red wines that are

increasingly sought after. But it took Pagli to come along and realize its potential. The Rascioni & Cecconello estate owned enough Ciliegiolo vines to make a varietal wine. I thought the big berries and bunches merited a chance and I urged them to give it a try. I was lucky too: the first vintage was 1988, a great year in Tuscany. Cileigiolo has since proven itself and is here to stay.’

Pagli is also well known for his Matura group, a consultancy created in 1997 with Alberto Antonini. Winemakers and viticulturists follow their own estates but meet regularly to exchange ideas. The group has helped some of Italy’s brightest young talent to progress.

Today Pagli and the Matura group make some of Italy’s greatest wines from other native grapes such as Vespolina, Ansonica, and Aleatico, all with a very bright future.

Attilio is an inspiration because his standards never drop. His understanding of terroir is his finest attribute.’

-Vittorio Fiore, Podere Poggio Scalette