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The restart of Italy: between wine and wine tourism. The message of Ornellaia

Reflections by Lamberto Frescobaldi, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja and the President of Tuscany Region, Eugenio Giani

If today Bolgheri, despite being one of the youngest denominations of Italian wine, is the best positioned, in terms of value, on the markets of the world (as told by a survey commissioned by the Consorzio di Bolgheri and Bolgheri Sassicaia), it is because here people have always invested following the polar star of excellence. In a land made famous and immortal beyond wine, by the verses of Carducci who translated into literature the iconic avenue of cypress trees (“I cipressi che a Bolgheri alti e schietti / Van da San Guido in duplice filar, / Quasi in corsa giganti giovinetti, Mi balzarono incontro e mi guardar”), the focus was first concentrated on the vineyard and wine, of course. But now, more and more, the big brands of Bolgheri wine look more and more to the high-level hospitality, riding the growth trend (only “suspended” by the pandemic but seen by all as one of the engines of the restart of tourism) in line with the target market wine of the territory. As is being done, among others, by the Frescobaldi group, chaired by Lamberto Frescobaldi, leader of one of the historical dynasties of the wine of Tuscany and Italy, which has under its aegis two of the most important realities of the territory and of the national and international panorama, such as Ornellaia and Masseto. And it was precisely the Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, today, during the visit of the President of the Tuscany Region Eugenio Giani, where the further investments of the Frescobaldi group on the estate were presented, especially in the field of high-level hospitality, that was the privileged setting for some reflections on the matter.
“Ornellaia is reacting with tenacity to counter the pandemic. I believe that wines of excellence can contribute to the restart of the Italian wine sector” commented Lamberto Frescobaldi, who added: “the completion of the architectural structure of Ornellaia, with an additional floor called “Aquilone”, realized by the studio of Florentine architects Marco Magni and Piero Guicciardini, is the project that completes the spaces dedicated to hospitality in our estate, appreciated by the many wine lovers from all over the world”.
“I hope that wine tourists, both Italian and foreign, will choose to discover the places of wine production through this fantastic travel experience that is wine tourism” added Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, ad Masseto and Ornellaia, unveiling the novelties of the winery completed in 2021 but that, because of Covid, until now had never been officially presented. An investment, of course, in the name of the good and the beauty. A combination that is the history of Tuscany.
“In these lands - adds Lamberto Frescobaldi, to WineNews - the fortune we sought has kissed us on the forehead. And now we must have the humility and the vision to share it, to be patrons, to stimulate beauty. If wine, if Ornellaia and Bolgheri are successful, it’s also because they have beauty around them, which must always be nurtured. Tuscany, today, is loved so much because the Medici, here, gave an impulse on the extraordinary beauty. Just look at the farmhouses of the past, today villas, which were designed by artists and architects. But beauty must be nurtured, continuously”. And to do this must be the companies, of course, but also the institutions, as Eugenio Giani, president of Tuscany Region, told WineNews. “Wine is one of the strongest engines of recovery, and if I’m here today at Ornellaia it’s to testify this. Just as yesterday I was at Pitti in Florence, the first major event in the presence of fashion. Wine is one of the fingers of a hand that looks above all to exports (with Tuscan wine that, in 2020, moved 972 million euros in exports, 15.5% of the national total, ISTAT data, ed), because there’s no doubt that development comes from both domestic consumption and what our products can give in the world. Here we are among the excellences of Tuscan wine, which can give a prospect of growth. But we need promotion on three axes. That of the wine as such, through exports, because in the world there is always more curiosity for wines of excellence, even through the online, and we support this we do with Toscana Promozione and Fondazione Sistema Toscana. Then, associating wine to places that can attract tourism, and this in an environment where the Conti della Gherardesca were born (told in Dante's Divine Comedy), where there is a trinomial made of the beauty of nature and landscapes, agro-food products and gastronomy of excellence, and culture, creates a great tourist attraction. The third element is the relationship that must be created between institutions and producers, who are the ones who make the investments, as these hectares and hectares of cultivated vineyards tell us. And as we are going towards a period of strong investments, both with the Recovery Plan and the 2021-2027 structural plan, having funds oriented by the public towards those who invest in wine is a great help we can give to the sector. What is needed, in short, is a sort of “holy alliance” between companies and institutions, to promote the territory”.
All reflections gathered in the launch of Ornellaia’s new reception facility, which is a concrete and tangible sign not only of economic recovery, but of increased investment in the Bolgheri area. A visit in which Lamberto Frescobaldi, Ferdinando Frescobaldi, Giovanni Geddes and Ornellaia’s Director Axel Heinz guided President Giani to discover one of the most important estates of Italian wine, telling about the production philosophy, the innovations recently implemented in the cellar, and the Historical Archives (where there are also bottles of Ornellaia made by artists from all over the world for the project “Vendemmia d'Artista”, which since 2009, has distributed 2 million euros to cultural institutions around the world, also collected through charity auctions such as the one that will be staged in September 2021 at the Guggenheim in Venice, ed), the beating heart of the estate. Investments that mark the road to recovery, not only for the Bolgheri area, but for the future of the entire wine sector, which can promote the restart of quality wine tourism throughout Italy.

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