With the many wine shops in Milan and the growth of e-commerce, one might think that the whole of the wine world is within arm’s reach. But for a craft so inextricably linked to its territory and its tradition, there is no way to enjoy the full experience without going on the field.
With this in mind, and challenging the adverse weather, we embarked on a journey towards Trentino-South Tyrol. Our first stop was the Enoteca Gallo, in Salorno, on the border between the two provinces… The perfect place to learn about the differences in the wine-making culture in the two areas. Out host was Corrado Gallo, president of Cantina Sociale Rovere della Luna and associate of the Cavit cooperative, and he was the one introducing the day’s topic over a glass of his Quaranta Jugheri Collezione Vigna L’omeri Pinot Grigio 2013.
For Decades, the wine production in Trentino has been strongly linked to the system of the cooperatives, which allow small producers to pool their resources efficiently to be competitive in the larger market. In general, many of those tend to aim more to the quantity of the product and the cost efficiency than to the quality. That is not to say that there aren’t excellent products, such as the Trento Doc, and that a few wineries did not manage to beat the odds alone. In the Bolzano province, on the contrary, many small producers worked on quality over quantity. As of today, it can be astounding how many different labels from this area make their way into rankings despite the relatively small number of bottles that are made each year.
In the afternoon, we moved to Ravina, at Cantine Ferrari, a fulgid example of a winery that managed to succeed without joining any cooperative. Since it was founded by Giulio Ferrari in 1902 it has pursued the highest quality through the Champagne method he learned in France, and there was no compromise as the quantity increased in the 117 years since (67 of which with the winery in the hands of the Lunelli family, that still control the company.)
We had the chance to learn the history of the company, to see the halls where the vinification takes place, and to learn about the different labels they developed over time. The most interesting part, though, was the last one: a meeting with Marcello Lunelli, one of the owners, who could give us further insight into the inner workings of Ferrari. He presented the company to us even more in detail, he answered our every question and even shared with us an aperitif accompanied by some lovely Ferrari Trento Doc Perlé.
While the two close-yet-different examples of Trentino and South Tyrol show us that there isn’t a single winning formula, Ferrari tells us something even more valuable. To succeed, and to do so by a wide margin, the Excellence of the product is not enough. One needs also unimpeachable managerial skills and the ability to market the product excellently. Without the latter two, Ferrari would still be a very pleasant wine, but probably not one of the most recognizable and appreciated brands among Italian wine.
B.You B.Glad B.Wine