Silvano’s grandfather was a local farmer and winemaker and he produced wine in Erbusco long before Franciacorta was recognized as one of the world’s leading appellations for classic method sparkling wines.
After completing the prestigious FISAR sommelier program (administered by the Italian Federation of Sommeliers, Hoteliers, and Restaurateurs) in 1982, Silvano completed his studies in hotel and restaurant management at the Hotelier School in Iseo the following year.
He had already worked in the restaurant industry for many years when he landed his first job at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Ezio Santin’s Antica Osteria del Ponte in Cassinetta di Lugagnano (province of Milan), one of only four restaurants in Italy to hold a Michelin star at that time. It was there that Silvano first discovered “the world of great wine.”
In 1988, he left his native Lombardy for Imola, where he began working at the famed San Domenico. He was soon tapped to join the staff that would open San Domenico’s sister restaurant in New York with legendary restaurateur Tony May.
In 1991, he was invited to join the team at Barone Pizzini, where he was to oversee the estate’s new restaurant.
Then, in 1994, unforeseen tragedy struck the family at Barone Pizzini when Silvano’s friend and business partner was killed in a car accident.
It was a result of this twist of fate that Silvano became the winery’s production director the same year.
Four years later, a seminar in work-place safety inspired Silvano to experiment with organic farming and by 2001, Barone Pizzini had received its European certification as an organic winery.
Silvano lives in Bergamo, a twenty-minute drive from the winery, with his wife and two children. Beyond his duties as winemaker and general manager of the esteemed winery group, he also serves as the Franciacorta producers association’s vice-president and one of its technical advisors.