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Published:  23 July, 2008

Ernest & Julio Gallo, the world's largest wine producer, is believed to be buying Ruffino, the Tuscan wine producer famous for its Chianti. At the time of going to press, no one from Gallo was available for comment. The 125-year-old House of Ruffino is owned by the Folonari family, wine merchants from northern Italy, who bought the estate in 1913 from the Ruffino family. Twenty-five years ago the Folonaris closed their original winery to focus on quality Tuscan wines and the Ruffino brand. The company is one of the largest landowners in Tuscany, with some 3,600 hectares of vineyards, and claims to have single-handedly updated Chianti's image in 1975 by changing the shape of the bottle' (to the Florentine).