Hand in Hand

with Davide Landini CEO Villa Saletta

Where did your passion for wine come from?

It’s my family’s legacy. My grandfather was a winemaker, or a ‘fattore’ in Italian. He was in charge of the process and I used to watch him, fascinated by it all. I can remember right back to being three or four years old and being so interested in growing and the land. I think it is a passion that comes from something deep inside me, not just from family.

I feel a connection with the earth and growing things and all things Italian, so I always knew I would work in this industry. I graduated in agronomy agriculture then, afterwards, in enology.

What makes Villa Saletta special?

Villa Saletta truly is a hidden gem in the heart of Tuscany, close to civilization but remote enough to feel away from the hustle and bustle of life. It is unique in its location, right in the heart of nature, wild and free, but just an hour away from a city like Florence. I am so proud to be part of this project and watch it grow. I see the wine come to life from grapes, the olives making olive oil, and our guests in the villas leaving refreshed and happy. These are just some of the many things that make it so special.

“I can remember right back to being three or four years old and being so interested in growing and the land”

What has been a key milestone in the brand’s history?

The origin of Villa Saletta’s brand is the land and its legacy. In essence, we are repeating the same processes as three or four centuries ago and following history. We didn’t know about Villa Saletta’s history until the ‘Cabreo’ – an old register with details of the properties and land – revealed many exciting things. Looking through the pages, you can see each piece of land, which made me realize we are not doing many things differently today. We study the soil closely and uncover amazing things. It shows us that by comparing past and present you can create something magical.

What would you say is Villa Saletta’s signature wine and why?

I think this has to be our 980AD. It’s an award-winning wine made with our best Cabernet Franc grapes, which consistently produce flavorsome full-bodied wines. It is the grape of the region of Pisa and the best expression of Villa Saletta terroir.

What makes your partnership with Hand Picked Hotels work so well?

Hand Picked Hotels is quintessentially British and proud of it, while Villa Saletta is very Italian and equally proud of it. The owners of Hand Picked are also the owners of Villa Saletta, which means strong core values resonate across both businesses from this shared leadership and passion. To be able to work within UK hospitality and have a sister company like Hand Picked is incredible. We are now working closer and closer together. Villa Saletta wine tastings in Guernsey are very popular now, as are our Italian dinner events in the UK. We also love welcoming our UK guests to our Italian villas. It is a truly complimentary partnership.

What wine trends have evolved over the last thirty years?

Wine trends are increasingly connected with climate change, with the shift producing wines with less concentration, freshness and elegance. This means we need to adopt a different approach to how we work the land, which is about more than just sustainability. For example, years ago, it was all about producing the best grapes, but we now realize the trees around our vineyards need a healthy environment to grow in; it’s all about balance. I think to be successful in the wine world you have to be sustainable but what is more important is the people, the environment, the quality of the wine and the whole team ethic. Less is more.

What plans do you have for Villa Saletta and your partnership with Hand Picked Hotels?

As we evolve and grow our estate, we plan to work even more closely with Hand Picked and will be delivering some very exciting concepts in the future for guests to enjoy. We look forward to bringing a little more of our Italian history to you all in the UK and vice versa.