Brunello has had many famous enthusiasts over the centuries, and this is probably due to a building that now no longer exists.
The Republic of Siena had commissioned a large building to be erected next to the Cathedral in Montalcino, designed to house important figures who travelled along the Via Cassia-Francigena, the main road leading to Rome from the North. Popes, emperors, kings, governors and ambassadors dined and slept there, a day’s journey from Siena and another day from the State’s border.
All that remains of the building today is a fine marble well, but among the many who sojourned there was Prince William of Orange, who later became King William III of England. There he was introduced to the wine of Montalcino, and as appears from the correspondence of the England’s ambassador to the Court of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in Florence, ordered large quantities shipped to be for his table for several years.