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Italy’s wine is still on the cover of “Wine Spectator”. With Lamberto Frescobaldi

At WineNews Lamberto Frescobaldi, among the most important names in Italian wine: “a recognition to those who believe in the land and the vineyard”

”A recognition of our work as wine entrepreneurs and farmers, and of all those who, like us, have one thing very clear: that the true value is not in the wine, but in the land and the vineyard”. These are the words of Lamberto Frescobaldi, at the head of the Frescobaldi group, one of the most important and historical names in Italian wine, and one of the few Italian producers to be featured on the cover of the most popular international wine magazine, “Wine Spectator”, in its April 2021 issue (traditionally dedicated to Italy, in the period in which Vinitaly is historically held, this year moved to June because of Covid, ed.)
“It is something that gives us great pleasure - said Lamberto Frescobaldi, to WineNews - it is a recognition to a path that Frescobaldi winery has made in these years, a company that I like to remember, is “family-run”, with centuries behind it. We have always been an agricultural company, not just a wine company, then in the last decades, first my uncles and then my father, redesigned the vineyards. We have always been consistent with this agricultural vocation, we have always invested in the vineyard, even in the not suspicious years, when it was mainly the business to grow, more than the producers of grapes and wine. When you produce from the land, there are many more risks compared to those who only do business, but we have always wanted to face them. This cover is a recognition to those who manage the land and the vineyard, and as I sometimes remind our administrators, the luck, the value is not the wine, it is the vineyard, it is the one that brings the work, that brings families to work all year round, and I believe “Wine Spectator” has followed and understood this concept of ours during the years”.

And today Frescobaldi has almost 1. 500 hectares (1,500 acres), in the most important territories of the Tuscan wine region, divided in many important estates (Castello di Nipozzano and Castello di Pomino in Chianti Rufina, Rèmole in Sieci, Tenuta Castiglioni in Montespertoli, Perano in Gaiole in Chianti, in Chianti Classico, Tenuta Ammiraglia in Maremma and Castelgiocondo in Montalcino), all under the “Tenute di Frescobaldi” brand, to which are added wineries which have become absolute myths of the world wine, such as Masseto and Ornellaia in Bolgheri, above all, or Luce in Montalcino, without forgetting Attems, in Friuli Venezia Giulia. From which great wines are born, but also important projects linked to patronage, such as “Artisti per Frescobaldi” and the “Vendemmia d’Astista” of Ornellaia, but also to social issues, “like that of the wine of Gorgona, a very beautiful, serious and ongoing project”, says Lamberto Frescobaldi, referring to the wine produced together with prisoners on the island-prison in Tuscany, a project born in 2012.
”One of the things that distinguishes us, producers of grapes and wine, from others - underlines Lamberto Frescobaldi - is our vision in doing things with continuity. Even in difficult years we do not give an inch. This cover is a recognition of the whole family, including its “silent players”, but also of all producers like us who, with humility, want to excel starting from the vineyard. A concept that is not obvious, but very important. Otherwise, we would be fools to invest in vineyards which, especially in certain areas, have very high values. It is not obvious, many people talk about wine, barriques, technologies, but then we are crazy to invest in vineyards which cost a lot of money. But this is also the beauty, because great things can be done in many different places. We, for example, went left and right in Tuscany, to discover different places, with different excellences. So much so that when they ask me the embarrassing question about which is our favorite wine, I sincerely say all of them, because each one is intriguing, interesting, and tells a story”.
And looking to the future, to possible new acquisitions, Lamberto Frescobaldi told WineNews: “there are always some dreams that make your heart beat faster, there is always a great deal of curiosity, there is always a desire to look and explore, but it is necessary to ensure that these dreams can be managed and valorized, and in concrete terms we are not close to anything new. If I have to say something that I would like, however, in an Italy that has a territory more beautiful than the other, I think of territories in the center-south of the country, maybe in the hills, where there are cool nights, to make wines with a nice flavor, acidity and aging. But as of today there is nothing concrete”.
To someone who represents a family with a centuries-old history, which has gone through the ages, marked by crises and events even worse than the Covid-19 pandemic that we are all experiencing, it is obligatory to ask for a reflection on how to complete this seemingly “desert crossing”, and on what will come next. “As entrepreneurs, we must always be clear-headed and focused, because there are always opportunities in the world, in every era. But the pandemic has sent us a clear message: those who want to look to the future must be ready to change their appearance, to change their way of doing things. And changing is hard, you have to have the strength to do it, to question yourself, without being too afraid of making mistakes. I don't know what the future will be like, but I try to imagine some things. And one of the easiest to guess is that it will be even more important all that is wine logistics, whose improvement will be necessary in order to value even small orders from the most distant markets.
Because it will be more and more important to satisfy the most disparate customers, but without ever discounting quality, which will always be fundamental. In this sense, we should enlarge our wineries in order to make room for the whole logistic management, investments in structures will be needed. It will certainly no longer be enough, however, to say that our product is good, and what its characteristics are. We should all learn to be even more attentive to the needs of each of our clients”. These are the words of Lamberto Frescobaldi, one of the very few Italian producers to be featured on the cover of “Wine Spectator”. Before him, twice Angelo Gaja (in 1985 and 2011) and Piero Antinori (in 1994 and, with his daughters Albiera, Allegra and Alessia, in 2015), and then, only once, Oscar Farinetti (in 2013), Lodovico Antinori (in 2016), Marilisa Allegrini (in 2017) and Nicolò and Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta (Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido) in 2018.

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