It’s an unseasonably warm day at Laura Brunelli’s home, south of Montalcino in Podernovone. Monte Amiata is majestic in the sunshine, Labradors are lazing on the lawn in front of the green and gold-flecked vineyards; there is not another soul in sight. Montalcino’s “first lady” Laura Brunelli is taking a rare moment out of her busy life to chat to The Florentine. Sardinian-born Laura and her late husband Gianni Brunelli established Siena’s Osteria Le Logge restaurant, off piazza del Campo in the late 1970s, quickly becoming famous for its carefully sourced local cuisine and warm welcome, a place where customers are treated like friends and friends like kings. The hard-working couple restored Gianni’s family vineyards in Montalcino and devoted themselves to the land and to producing elegant, complex Sangiovese. “Without additives, without anti-parasite sprays, having the courage to trust in what nature offers us. I want to bring the land of Montalcino to the table” was Gianni’s motto. Since his untimely death in 2008, Laura has been unwavering in her pursuit of their shared philosophy, caring as much for her beloved vineyards as for her kitchen garden.