Charlotte Horton has been making award-winning wines in Tuscany for over 20 years. She has restored two Castles in Tuscany. At Castello di Potentino, she has revitalized an abandoned estate, planting new vineyards, bringing back olive trees into production and recreating the castle as a cultural centre and a bed and breakfast. She and Alexander have been running food and wine pop-up events in London, Ireland and France since 2010. She is currently working on a book about Potentino Life with photographer Michael Woolley. Before moving to Italy, she worked for Vogue Magazine, Secker and Warburg Publishing House and then as a freelance journalist. In 2013, she was recognized as one of the Barclay’s Women of Achievement.
Alexander Greene was part of the team that set up the Frontline Club, a members’ club and restaurant in Paddington that specializes in Independent Journalism, hosting the likes of Wikileaks and Litvinenko. He then went on to work at the book publisher Little, Brown Book Group whose authors include J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer and Patricia Cornwell. He is now a director at Castello di Potentino and Raymond Chandler Ltd. He is currently developing the Winemakers’ Choice App and Website.
Charlotte has been living at and restoring Potentino since 2000 when the family purchased the ruin. Alexander gave up his job in publishing in London in 2011 and moved to Potentino after a tearful goodbye, he hasn’t regretted it once and loves working with his darling sister.
Sally, Alexander and Charlotte’s mother also lives at the castle. A ballerina and photographer, she was brought up in one of oldest inhabited houses in England - Luddesdon Court in Kent, always had a very good eye for houses and has inspired the purchase and decoration of all of the family’s houses. She has a particular love of old textiles, which can be seen around the castle, giving such a wonderful texture to the house.
Graham Greene, Alexander’s father, died in 2016 after a distinguished career in publishing and in public service (he was Chairman of the British Museum for many years). He is often missed as he used to sit under the loggia quietly reading a good book and was a benign presence when at Potentino.
To round out the team at Potentino, Uran and Ervelina have working with us since before we moved to Potentino for more than 16 years. They are now considered to be members of the family and have two children, Roberta and Flavio, now at school. Uran looks after the vineyard and the olive groves, can be found chopping wood in the winter and helping Charlotte in the winery. Ervelina looks after the house and is the backbone of the castle.
The Literary Connections
Many people ask us about whether we are related to Graham Greene the author. Yes- he is Graham’s uncle (they were named after the same relation, who was Secretary to the 1st Sea Lord under Winston Churchill.
Helga (Alexander's grandmother), before moving to Tuscany, had been engaged to the hard-boiled detective writer of Philip Marlowe and Film Noir notoriety, when he died. Graham and Alexander ran the literary estate until Graham's death with Ed Victor. It is now run by Alexander with Potentino part-time resident Derek Johns and our very able chairwoman Kit van Tulleken (who is regular visitor too).
It is strange to think that the Philip Marlowe character famously played by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep has contributed to the making of Castello di Potentino.