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Ferrari Producer bags Family of the Year Meininger Award

Posted: Wednesday, 16 March 2016 12:05


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Ferrari Producer bags Family of the Year Meininger Award

March 16: Lunelli family, owner of Ferrari Winery, a well-known Trento DOC sparkling wine producer using Methode Traditionelle and mostly champagne grapes, seems to be on a roll; after being chosen as Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC) 2015 and declared as the European Winery of the Year 2015 by Wine Enthusiast, it has been awarded the ‘Wine Family of the year Award’ at Prowein by the Meininger group of Germany

Click For Large ViewMatteo Lunelli- President and Marcello Lunelli-Vice President of Cantine Ferrari (Ferrari Winery group), received the prestigious award from the brother-sister duo of Christoph and Andrea Meininger, owners of the publishing house Meininger Verlag and main promoters of the concept “Excellence in Wine & Spirit”. The award-giving ceremony took place last Saturday on the eve of the opening of Prowein, at a hotel in Düsseldorf where more than 600 guests were present, including several VIPs of the international wine industry.

The Award was decided by a panel of eminent jurors and included several journalists working for the wine magazines of the German publishing house, such as “Weinwirtschaft”, “Wine Business International”, “Sommelier” and “Weinwelt”. Subhash Arora is the India correspondent of Meininger Wine Business International, the English language magazine recognized globally for its substance. The Award was given for “the ability of the Lunelli Family not only in preserving the heritage of their forefathers, but also for their skill in developing the business both nationally and internationally”.

The founder of the winery, Giulio Ferrari was born in Trentino, at the foot of the Italian Alps, when the region was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After studying abroad in Montpellier and Champagne, he returned home to make great sparkling wines. In 1902, he was the first to pioneer the cultivation of Chardonnay and introduce what was then called ‘Methode Champenoise’. His belief in the soil and terroir helped his wines start winning awards as early as 1906, said Felicity Carter, Editor-in-Chief of ‘Meininger Wine Business International’ while reading the Commendation.

‘In 1952, the childless Ferrari collaborated with his friend and owner of a local wine shop Bruno Lunelli to enable a smooth succession. Lunelli increased the cultivation area of Chardonnay and total production. In 1969, Bruno passed the winery to his sons, one of whom, Mauro Lunelli further raised the quality of wines.’

‘The defining moment for the family winery came in 1982, when Paolo Rossi, one of Italy’s leading footballers opened a magnum of Ferrari to celebrate the soccer team’s triumph in the 1982 World Cup final. It has never looked back since.  It’s not only regularly served at state occasions, but Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi reportedly even told French President Francois Hollande that he would not find anything better in Champagne.’

‘The Italian newspaper La Repubblica has once said that Cantine Ferrari was an example of a single company that acted as a leader for the whole area, raising the prosperity of everyone as they went. Cantine Ferrari dominates the region, producing about 40% of Trento DOC wines, and taking in grapes from 500 local producers. These families adhere to organic principles, with some vineyards already certified organic and others in the process of converting’.

Ferrari has been my favourite bubbly since I visited the winery about 8 years ago and met Camilla Lunelli, the PR and Communications Manager. When I was asked by the Editor of Upper Crust, the top-end food, wine, travel and luxury lifestyle magazine in Mumbai to list 50 of my favourite wines for their 50th edition in June 2012, I had selected wines I had a personal encounter with and those with a story. One of the wines I had selected was Ferrari Brut Spumante Trento DOC.

My Comment then about this Italian nugget was that ‘Franciacorta may be the Italian region known for champagne- like sparkling wines, but it is this bubbly produced from Chardonnay by the Lunelli family from Trentino which historically introduced the ‘ Metod  Traditionelle’ process. With the grapes and the terroir it has all the ingredients of making delicious wines, a collage of which I was able to taste at their winery’.

I had met Matteo Lunelli briefly at a tasting in Delhi a couple of years ago where he came to look for an importer and was able to sign up with Amit Goel-owned Rad Elan in Gurgaon as its distributor for India. Their Rose Brut has been a personal favourite that I often recommend as an outstanding sparkling wine and even pitch it against champagne in tastings- blind and otherwise.

Our congratulations go to Matteo, Marcello, Camilla Lunelli and Cantina Ferrari for this singular honour which recognises the closeness within the well-knit family that has armed itself with business acumen through education and experience outside before joining the family business.

In 2015, the Meininger Award had been given to the Baron Philippe de Rothschild family.

For earlier related Articles, please visit:

Ferrari Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award for Wine Enthusiast Angelo Gaja

Subhash Arora

Commendation by Felicity Carter

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