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After Bolgheri Spotlight on Bulgari for Wines

Posted: Monday, 26 March 2012 15:45

After Bolgheri Spotlight on Bulgari for Wines

March 26 : While Bolgheri in the western part of Tuscany has already established itself as an area producing premium Super Tuscan wines, Bulgari associated with luxury jewelry and watches for a long time is ready to try capturing the limelight in wines with two members of the family releasing their first three Tuscan wines at Vinitaly, the annual international wine trade fair being held from 25-28 March in Verona

The wines are made at the family’s PoderNuovo estate in Palazzone in southern Tuscany, started by the former chairman of the Bulgari Group, Paolo Bulgari, and his son Giovanni as the CEO since the family sold control of the jewelry company to the French luxury giant Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) in March last year.

“Our first battle is not to be known as the Bulgari wine. The real challenge is to show that we can produce good wine very well,” says Giovanni adding that he and his father were worried that a Bulgari wine might be seen as a rich man’s adventure or an agricultural offshoot of their better known jewelery, watches, perfumes or other accessories.

Another reason the family is playing down the use of Bulgari on the bottle partly because of rules set by the buyers restricting  how the Bulgari name can be used in other businesses. Thus the PoderNuovo label has been a simple design of red coloured, stylized vineyards on a white background. Names of Paolo and Giovanni Bulgari have been printed in discreet light gray characters below.
Of the three wines, Sotirio, named after the Greek-born founder of the Bulgari dynasty, is representative of the illustrious past of the family.

However, Giovanni does not mind admitting that years of has affected their approach to   winemaking. “My father taught me how to handle stones, to hold them in my hands without looking at them to get a sense of their temperature, and then to observe how light plays off them,” he said, according to a report in New York Times. ‘Wine also calls for an intuitive perspective: how it reacts to light, how the colour moves in a glass.’

The 42 acres of vineyards at PoderNuovo were planted in 2007. Their terrain is rich with clay, sand and chalk in differing proportions, a good match for different varieties of grapes. Riccardo Cotarella, one of Italy’s best-known oenologists has been roped in to put his seal of approval on the three wines of vintage 2009 being released in the market- a Tuscan red blend, a Cabernet Franc and a Sangiovese, the indigenous grape of central Italy, especially Tuscany.

The family, starting with the production of only 5000 cases, with a goal of doubling it when the vineyard is fully operational, is under no illusion that past successes in jewelry and perfumes etc will guarantee success in wines. “It’s a very crowded marketplace, and it’s a difficult moment to sell anything from wine to cars. The competition is so tough,” acknowledged Paolo Bulgari, who considers himself as quite optimistic, according to the report

Bolgheri is already an internationally known part of Tuscany located in the comune of Castagnetto Carducci , thanks to a tasting arranged by Decanter in 1974 when a 6 year old Sassicaia produced by Tenuta San Guido, scored over a group of fine wines from Bordeaux.  Till that time Bolgheri was known to produce only ordinary white and rosé wines.

Bolgheri has been made famous through the  well known Super Tuscan producers like Tenuta San Guido who produce Sassicaia, Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia making Ornellaia, and Ca'Marcanda of Angelo Gaja, Guado al Tasso, Tignanello and Solaia  of Marchesi Antinori.

Only time and quality of wines will determine if the wine would become as iconic as the prestigious jewelry business run by the family till last year.


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