Salvatore Ferragamo: Runway to Vineyard

Salvatore Ferragamo in his Tuscan vineyard on the Il Borro estate.

Since opening his Hollywood Boot Shop on Hollywood Boulevard in 1923, Salvatore Ferragamo has undoubtedly established his position in the world of luxury goods. A native of the small Italian village of Bonito, the designer quickly made a name for himself upon his arrival to the United States.

Following Ferragamo’s academic pursuits at a California university, the designer began to craft one-of-a-kind, handmade footwear.  His products were soon sought after by Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe – earning him the title “shoemaker to the stars.” Until this point, the craftsmanship and innovation associated with the Ferragamo name has been confined to the world of fashion. Now, the Ferragamo legacy is extending itself to the wine scene.

Salvatore Ferragamo, third-generation member of the Italian fashion clan, recently visited Palm Beach County to promote the Ferragamo family’s latest endeavor – Il Borro wines.  As the oldest of six children, Salvatore is no stranger to a little family-friendly competition. With other family members choosing to develop the family’s reputation on the fashion front, Salvatore shared his urge to embark on a new adventure.

“I wanted to add [to Ferragamo], as opposed to covering a role which has already been done,” he says.

His desire to embrace the unknown fueled his pursuit of the Il Borro estate, a property purchased by the Ferruccio Ferragamo (Salvatore’s father) in 1993. Together, the father-son team embarked on a series of restoration projects, transforming the estate into what is now an eco-friendly, all-inclusive resort and chateau.

Il Borro Wines

Today, Il Borro’s all-organic vineyard has produced 10 different wines: seven red, two rosé, and one white. Salvatore’s favorite? The flagship wine, Il Borro Toscana – an oak aged blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, and Petit Verdot.

Upon examining Il Borro’s wines, a consumer may be surprised to find (or not to find) the Ferragamo name is missing from bottle’s label. With a respected brand such as Ferragamo, why not extend the family name to another field?

“We actually don’t believe in cross-branding,” said Salvatore. “We believe that the name of Ferragamo is associated with fashion and we don’t want to exploit this name to endorse another product.”

For many, the overlap may seem minimal when it comes to vineyards and runways. Regardless of the product, the Ferragamo attention to detail and demand for excellence remains the same.

Il Borro wines are available for purchase at Louie Bossi’s Ristorante in Palm Beach County.

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