The famous noble family in Tuscany has been growing wine since 1141 and is one of the oldest wineries in the world. Since that time, this family had extensive land holdings in the area between Siena and Florence. This prompted the Republic of Florence to exclude the family from public offices. However, this did not prevent the family from exerting great political influence for centuries. Around 1830, Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880) inherited the neglected family estate Castello di Brolio in the heart of the Chianti-Classico region and began to reform viticulture on a grand scale. He travelled through France and Germany, studied viticulture there and imported numerous grape varieties. In 1861 he became Prime Minister of the new Kingdom of Italy and was nicknamed the "Iron Baron".