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On the road, with WineNews, in Michelin starred restaurants owned by Italian wine labels

There are 17 out of 371, 5% of the total, tables with the “macaron” of the wine companies, among Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto, Trentino, Puglia, Calabria

The pandemic has pushed the Italian restaurant industry to a long stop in spring, and to another closure in recent weeks. Which have certainly weakened their morale, but not extinguished the enthusiasm and the desire to experiment, improve and grow, more and more in the name of sustainability. Results celebrated a few days ago by the 371 starred restaurants unveiled in the Michelin Guide 2021, which has photographed the resilience of a sector that more than any other can't wait to put the nefarious 2020 behind it. Which was not easy even for wine, which has a natural outlet in the restaurant industry, definitely the most “right”, because it is at the table that it gives its best. A natural combination, which over the years has led several wineries in the Belpaese, especially in the two symbolic regions of Italian viticulture, Piedmont and Tuscany, to focus on quality catering. So much so that today, as the analysis of WineNews reveals, there are as many as 17 Michelin-starred restaurants linked to a wine label: 5% of the total, a decidedly remarkable percentage.
Starting from Tenuta Carretta, in Piobesi d’Alba, in the heart of the Langhe, which in addition to producing Barolo from the UNESCO World Heritage Nebbiolo vineyards, focuses on quality cuisine with Restaurant 21.9, by chef Flavio Costa. Among the 11 three starred restaurants in Italy - all reconfirmed - one is linked to the world of wine: the Piazza Duomo in Alba, born from the intuition of the Ceretto family, the Barolo brand that, in 2003, focused on Enrico Crippa to give the area a true temple of haute cuisine, which soon became one of the most prestigious tables in the world. Damilano, another historic family of Barolo, in the complex of the winery in Morra d'Alba, hosts since 2013 the kitchen of Massimo Camia, chef and reference point in the Langa and beyond. At the Villaggio Fontanafredda, in the estate nestled among the vineyards that was the scene of love between King Vittorio Emanuele II and Rosa Varcellana, “la bela Rosin”, and passed into the hands of entrepreneurs Oscar Farinetti and Luca Baffigo Filangieri in 2008, catering plays a central role, and revolves around the Guido restaurant, the starred restaurant run by Ugo and Piero Alciati, who carry on their father’s culinary tradition. Remaining in the Langa, where the Boroli family arrived in the nineties, between the rows of the three Barolo crus (Villero, Cerequio and Brunella), stands the Locanda del Pilone, a wine resort with the starred restaurant of Turin chef Federico Gallo. And, in Serralunga d’Alba, the La Rei Restaurant of chef Alberto Bai is the starred table of the Boscareto Resort, owned by the Dogliani family, which also runs the Beni di Batasiolo winery in La Morra, 156 hectares of vineyards divided into five Barolo crus (Briccolina, Boscareto, Bussia, Cerequio and Brunate).
In Veneto, Villa Cordevigo, in Cavaion Veronese, is a wine relais housed in a large wine estate - where the Villabella Vineyards labels are created - embellished by the starred restaurant Oseleta by chef Marco Marra. The brand of Trentodoc bubbles, Ferrari, led by the Lunelli family, one of the landmarks of the Italian wine scene, has had its starred restaurant for several years: Locanda Margon. At the stove of the restaurant in Ravina, in the province of Trento, Edoardo Fumagalli took the baton left, after many years, by Alfio Ghezzi. Still in the spirit of bubbles, Bisol, symbol brand of Prosecco (passed in 2016 under the control of the Lunelli family), has kept the reins, instead, of Venissa, the project for the wine and food relaunch of the island of Mazzorbo, in Venice. A jewel in which Gianluca and Matteo Bisol have relaunched Dorona, a Venetian grape variety from which a rare and aged white wine is made, with 18 rooms and a starred restaurant run by the couple Chiara Pavan and Francesco Brutto.
In Tuscany, Montalcino, the temple of Sangiovese and Brunello, regains its Michelin star after so many years, with the Sala dei Grappoli, the restaurant run by chef Domenico Francone in Poggio alle Mura, a village and relais of Banfi, a leading company in the Brunello area. In Borgo San Felice, the widespread relais surrounded by the rows of Chianti Classico di Agricola San Felice, also owned by Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri, hosts Poggio Rosso, a starred restaurant that is the result of the collaboration between the most starred (with as many as nine stars) of Italian chefs, Enrico Bartolini, and the young executive chef Juan Camilo Quintero. In the heart of the Val d’Orcia, for years at the center of Pasquale Forte’s food and wine project are the winery, Podere Forte, and the starred restaurant, Il Perillà, led by chef Marcello Corrado. Moving towards the sea, in Castiglione della Pescaia, in the heart of the Maremma Park, there is L’Andana, luxury resort that hosts the Trattoria Enrico Bartolini, Michelin star since 2014. The property is owned by the Moretti family, which, in the world of wine, controls brands such as Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi in Franciacorta, Acquagiusta, Petra and Teruzzi in Tuscany and Sella & Mosca in Sardinia, and has a very long and prestigious relationship with haute cuisine: for years the greatest Italian chef of all time, Gualtiero Marchesi, has been juggling the haute cuisine of L’Albereta, in Franciacorta. In the heart of Chianti Classico, the Badia di Passignano is a symbolic estate of the Antinori family, surrounded by vineyards, where the Osteria di Passignano, founded by Marcello Crini and Allegra Antinori, a Michelin star, is located, led by chef Nicola Damiani. In Cortona, the land of Syrah, among the 32 hectares of vineyards of Baracchi Winery, there is Il Falconiere, a starred restaurant led by the family chef, Silvia Baracchi.
Finally, moving to the South, in Calabria there is the Dattilo, starred restaurant of the farm Ceraudo, in Contrada Dattilo, led by Caterina Ceraudo, chef of the family, graduated in oenology in Pisa in 2011, who chose the kitchen, training in the school of Niko Romito. And in Puglia, Pietro Lacaita’s Vinilia Wine Resort is a stone’s throw from the family’s winery, Trullo di Pezza, a brand of Primitivo di Manduria, and hosts the Casamatta Restaurant of chef Pietro Penna, a Michelin star since 2019.
A long journey, in the times of taste immersed between the rows, which crosses extraordinary territories from the birth of the greatest wines of the Belpaese, natural companions of cuisines linked to the land but able to keep up with the times. Seventeen addresses, seventeen tables, which tell perfectly the dialogue between the kitchen and the vineyard. Renewed in the wake of the tradition that links Barolo and Agnolotti del Plin, Chianti Classico and Cavolo Nero, Brunello di Montalcino and Tortelli Maremmani. But also the bubbles of Trentodoc and Coregone, Amarone della Valpolicella and Porcini, Fiano del Salento and Ricciola, Gaglioppo della Val di Neto and Chicken. Ingredients of the earth, which the hand of man makes unique, and the entrepreneurial ability of wine entrepreneurs has been able to bring together under the same sky, Michelin-starred.

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