Allegrini 2018

Folonari invests in wineries, vineyards and hospitality. WineNews interviewed Giovanni Folonari

“Today the territory with the most appeal in Tuscany is Bolgheri”, explained the president of the group
Giovanni Folonari, at the head of both Tenute Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari

“Right now Bolgheri is definitely the territory in Tuscany that has the most appeal, thanks to its great wines, but also to its “everyday” wines that please even the younger and the less experienced consumers. Montalcino, with its Brunello wine, depends a lot on the vintage; i.e., in good years it is unbeatable, in lesser years there is a bit more of a challenge. Chianti Classico wines, where our most important vineyards are, following a few not great years is recovering and is stable, thanks also to wines of a very different average quality and that never displease. There are some issues, though, in territories such as Montepulciano, Montecucco and Maremma”. These are the words of Giovanni Folonari, at the helm of the historic Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari Estates, who, together with the “original headquarters” in the Chianti Classico territory, counts 250 hectares of vineyards in the most important red wine territories in Tuscany: Campo al Mare in Bolgheri, Nozzole Estate and Cabreo Estates in Chianti Classico, La Fuga in Montalcino, Torcalvano in Montepulciano and Vigne in Porrona in Maremma.

This historic group of Italian wine is investing heavily in vineyards, wineries and in high-level hospitality, for its future development. It has designated 3 million euros for the creation of La Pietra Relais di Charme, a new facility that will open its doors in 2021 in Greve in Chianti, in the heart of Chianti Classico, joining the Borgo del Charming Cabreo Relais at the Cabreo Estates, inaugurated in spring 2017 (and increasing Folonari hospitality offers, which includes Villa di Nozzole, Casavecchia on the Estate in Greve in Chianti, and the home on the La Fuga Estate in Montalcino). The company has additionally invested over 700.000 euros to improve production procedures in the cellar (investing above all in a new bottling and packaging plant), with the goal of attaining complete process automation by 2020. As far as vineyards are concerned, instead, they have budgeted investments for 1 million euros every year, over the coming years to expand their vineyards.

In Bolgheri, at the Campo al Mare Estate, in Bolgheri, they have already planted 3 hectares between Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and 1.2 hectares of Vermentino, while in Greve in Chianti, at the Nozzole Estate, trenches have already been prepared for planting 5 new hectares of Sangiovese and the same number of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2020.

“In some cases, like Bolgheri, these are new vineyards, in others, like the Chianti Classico area, they are older plants that are being replaced. However, in the Black Rooster territory particularly”, Folonari explained to WineNews, “we are also looking at the possibility of acquiring new lands bordering on ours, where it would be possible to use our planting rights. Expanding our wine heritage is an absolute priority for us, and in which we are always willing to invest, and we dedicate constant attention to this priority for renewal, the true keystone for all companies that want to grow. I am certain that the bottling and packaging process will be completely automated and will therefore have a strong, positive impact not only on efficiency and costs but also on our entire production as a whole”.

Hospitality is a priority as well. “Having our wines tasted in a specific context, combined with certain typical dishes, helps to guarantee that those who taste them remember them more easily, and this is a very important aspect. And, it is for this reason that in Bolgheri, in collaboration with Omar Barsacchi of the Osteria Magone, we have designated one of our farms bordering the restaurant for a common project - the creation of a Wine Bar, dedicated especially to our wines, and to the meat guru, Dario Cecchini, which we are hoping to open next spring”.

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