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©2018 Ruffino Import Company, Rutherford, CA

Our Story

A Rich History

In 1877 when cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve near Florence, the region already had a centuries-old tradition of growing exceptional wine grapes.

Even so, the two Tuscan natives felt certain that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Tuscany had been heaped with good fortune--mineral-laden soils, the cooling influence of the Mediterranean Sea, the dry summers that wine grapes favor. And all those luscious, sun-drenched hills.

Leopoldo Ilario

An Ideal Wine

As word grew about the quality of Ruffino’s wines, the winery flourished. The cousins honed their expertise, and soon Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines, adopting the motto “here we make ideal wine.”

Ruffino’s status was firmly established both nationally and internationally when its Chianti won a Gold Medal at the 1881 Milan Wine Exhibition, a prize at the 1884 Nice Exhibition, and another Gold Medal at the 1885 Antwerp Exhibition.

Intrigued by the winery's reputation, in 1890, the Duke of Aosta braved a long journey to taste the Ruffino wines he had heard so much about. He was so impressed by the wines that he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian royal family. In 1927, Ruffino returned some of the honor bestowed upon its wines by releasing its first vintage of Riserva Ducale—named after the Duke of Aosta as an acknowledgement of his esteemed patronage.

The reputation of Ruffino wines continued to spread, and Ruffino soon began to export its wines to the United States and other countries. In fact, the first Chianti imported to the U.S. was Ruffino.

Duke of Aosta

An Icon of Tuscany

After the Second World War, Ruffino purchased the first of its Tuscan estates, the Villa di Montemasso in the Chianti Classico region.. Ruffino continued to invest in new vineyards and became one of the first major wineries with vineyard estates in Italy’s three most renowned wine-producing regions – Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Ruffino has established itself as a leader in Chianti, renowned for consistency and quality, and Ruffino Chianti has become a global ambassador of Tuscan wines around the world. Not surprisingly, when Chianti first became recognized as a DOCG wine in 1984, Ruffino Chianti DOCG was awarded the first warranty strip #AAA00000001.

Icon of Tuscany


Today, more than 135 years after its founding and over 85 years after the release of Riserva Ducale, Ruffino continues to express the history and heritage of Italy with every bottle of wine released.

Ruffino Wines


  • 1877
    Ruffino Wines

    Winery founded by Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino

  • 1881

    Ruffino Chianti is awarded a Gold medal in Milan

  • 1890
    Ruffino Wines

    Ruffino appointed the official wine supplier to the Duke of Aosta and the Italian royal court.  Famed composer Verdi also becomes a devotee

  • 1894

    Ruffino Chianti is awarded a Gold medal in Bordeaux

  • 1904

    Ruffino Chianti wins a Grand Prize Award in the US at a St. Louis wine competition

  • 1927
    Ruffino Wines

    First release of Ruffino Riserva Ducale (formerly called Chianti Stravecchio), which means ‘Reserved for the Duke,’ in appreciation of the Duke of Aosta’s patronage

  • 1942
    Ruffino Wines

    Ruffino purchased its first Tuscan estate, Villa di Montemasso

  • 1947

    First vintage of Riserva Ducale Oro

  • 1960

    Ruffino exporting to more than 100 countries worldwide

  • 1975
    Ruffino Wines

    Ruffino revitalized the image of Chianti with a Florentine bottle to replace the traditional, straw-covered flask

  • 1984
    Ruffino Wines

    Chianti becomes a DOCG wine, and Ruffino Chianti DOCG is awarded the first warranty strip #AAA00000001

  • 1997
    Ruffino Wines

    Ruffino’s Super Tuscan Modus first produced

  • 2010

    Ruffino’s 2007 Modus is named one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines

  • 2015

    Riserva Ducale Oro is awarded Chianti Classico Gran Selezione status