Frescobaldi Adds Second Hectare to Gorgona Vineyards, Expands Project on Wines Made Jointly with Prisoners

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Leading Tuscan wine company invests over $100,000 annually into project, half of which is allocated to the development of winemaking skills in prisoners

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Frescobaldi recently announced an expansion which doubles their presence on the prison island vineyards of Gorgona. Assisted by Marchese Lamberto Frescobaldi and Frescobaldi viticulturist, Federico Falossi, new vines were planted by the inmates with Vermentino cuttings from Frescobaldi vineyards. Now two hectares in size, this vineyard sits on the last prison island in Italy and was adopted by Frescobaldi in August 2012, resulting in three vintage productions to date.

This second hectare will allow an increasing number of inmates to work on the “Frescobaldi per Gorgona” project. Today, there are 70 prisoners living on Gorgona, and roughly 20 are dedicated to working in the vineyard, with five of the inmates also currently employed by Frescobaldi.

Planting a vineyard takes mere days, but it will be at least six years before the first vintage is released from these vines. "Raising a vineyard is a beautiful thing, there’s something sacred about it. As the vines grow, they change every day; they are alive and growing. I hope this message of life inspires the people who work here, and motivates them to participate in this age-old cultivation,” notes Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of Marchesi de' Frescobaldi.

Frescobaldi recently signed a lease to extend the “Frescobaldi per Gorgona” project for an additional 15 years. Frescobaldi aims to produce 3,200 bottles of the Ansonica and Vermentino varietals from the 2014 harvest. Going forward, Frescobaldi aims to produce six thousand bottles annually; the wine will demonstrate not only the uniqueness of the Gorgona terroir, but also the excellence of Italian winemaking.

About the “Frescobaldi per Gorgona” Project
Frescobaldi has invested over $100,000 annually into “Frescobaldi per Gorgona,” a project about which Lamberto Frescobaldi is very passionate. Nearly 50% of this investment is dedicated to developing the winemaking skills of the prisoners. During the current economic crisis in Italy, Lamberto Frescobaldi recognizes that there is an increased challenge for recently released inmates to find work. This project helps to build tangible work skills, preparing former inmates to work and make a living once released. The Gorgona project is an example of how the public and private systems can work together, and is a positive model that all Italian prisons can hopefully one day replicate.

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Laura Ruocco

Alessandro Boga
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