The social project began in 2012 in collaboration with Italy's sole remaining prison island, now over 150 years old
GORGONA, Italy, June 8, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Marchesi Frescobaldi releases the 11th harvest of the Gorgona island winery, the unique social project on the Tuscan Archipelago's famed isle, a testament to the family's ever growing ambition and passion. Every June we celebrate by opening a bottle of the inaugural vintage of the cru wine of Marchesi Frescobaldi's ninth wine estate, a Vermentino and Ansonica blend produced on Gorgona, Italy's only remaining penal colony, established in 1869. The first vintage was in 2012, and ever since, the wine has been made by the inmates of that institution, who take part in a social rehabilitative project which grants them the opportunity to learn wine making skills, while spending their time profitably and investing in their future outside the actual prison walls. Gorgona is a noble representation of recovery and redemption, and a high quality wine that has today reached world markets in its current 2022 vintage.
"Every vintage makes us more proud, and the 2022 vintage is no different, as it ushers us into the second decade of our social project," stated Marchesi Frescobaldi President Lamberto Frescobaldi. "This vineyard of little more than two hectares brings forth a wine that is literally inimitable and innately exclusive, a symbol of hope and freedom that aims at reaching the world's audiences. Here at Gorgona, we see the uniqueness of a terroir, and of a project, though a mere handful of bottles, that never ceases to give us excitement and hope."
Each year's label is conceived as a "dedicated edition" newsletter that communicates a different aspect of the island. Gorgona 2022 underlines, once again, the extraordinary biodiversity that this unassuming island has succeeded in preserving, this time celebrating the wild orchids that flourish here in so many varieties and flower at so many different times.
The small vineyard of iron-rich soils on Gorgona has a magnificent eastern exposure, and is superbly protected from winds. This vineyard was initially planted in 1999 with successive planting in 2015 and 2018 of Vermentino and Ansonica, which have remained the supporting pillars of this wonderful wine.
Gorgona 2022 appears shimmering, brilliant straw-yellow with gold-flecked highlights. Its bouquet releases a veritable explosion of Mediterranean flora of spring and summer wildflowers, such as daisies, chamomile, hawthorn, mimosa, and broom, that segue into a procession of clean-edged fragrances of tropical fruit, mango, and pineapple, and passionfruit. Emerging next are citrusy notes of citron and mandarin, which yield in turn to a conclusion lifted by earthy mineral and sea salt. The savory palate is pleasurably crisp and seems endless, seamlessly mirroring the aromatics encountered on the nose.
Year after year, Gorgona successfully reaches the complexity and intensity Marchesi Frescobaldi had intended with this project, something so unique that it could only yield a wine as extraordinary as such.
The project began in August 2012. Before it involved wine production, it was a multi-year project involving collaboration with the authorities of the penal colony, whose objective was to involve the inmates in practical viticultural work. Under the supervision of Frescobaldi agronomists and winemakers, the inmates restored and cultivated a one-hectare vineyard on the island, to which over the years Frescobaldi added another 1.3 hectares of vines.
The Gorgona project was launched in August 2012, fruit of a collaboration between Frescobaldi and Gorgona, Europe's only remaining island-penitentiary. The inmates spend the final period of their detention here, working and living in contact with nature, creating for themselves a professional means of re-joining the workforce and the community at large. The project took root in a small vineyard lying in the heart of an amphitheatre high over the sea; its goal was to enable the inmates to gain personal, hands-on, professional experience in the field of viticulture. Under the supervision of Frescobaldi agronomists and winemakers, a few rows of organically-grown Sangiovese and Vermentino Nero yielded Gorgona Rosso, with the 2015 vintage, which matured in large terracotta jars. With additional plantings in 2015, that vineyard has grown today to almost two and a half hectares of Vermentino and Ansonica, which now produce Gorgona, the perfect expression of the uniqueness of this corner of earth and the work of man, and eloquent symbol of hope and freedom.
STAGES OF THE PROJECT
In May 2013, the first vintage of Gorgona (2012) was submitted to the authorities in Rome, and in September Lamberto Frescobaldi presented magnum number 0 to Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy.
In June 2014, Frescobaldi signed a 15-year contract for collaboration with the administration of the penal colony, and the winery hired and paid two inmates to work in the Gorgona vineyard.
In February 2015, under supervision by Frescobaldi winemakers, inmates planted another hectare of Vermentino, to involve more inmates in the viticultural work and to obtain, in another four years, a better-quality wine. The total hectares thus rose to 2.3.
In June 2018, the sixth vintage of Gorgona was bottled, 2017, in an edition of 9,000 bottles. The bottle label focused on the island fauna, which was perfectly adapted to the island's biodiversity: wild rabbits, peregrine falcons, and seagulls, who chose Gorgona as their nesting place.
The Frescobaldi family, which has been making celebrated, ultra-premium wines in Toscana for over 700 years, is one of Italy's leading wine producers. It passionately combines tradition with innovation and firmly believes in respect for its growing areas and in growing ever higher-quality grapes in its vineyards. It is recognised world-wide for the wines from its estates--Tenuta Castiglioni, Tenuta CastelGiocondo, Tenuta Perano, Castello Nipozzano, Castello Pomino, Tenuta Ammiraglia, Tenuta Calimaia, Rémole, Poggio Verrano and Gorgona.
Karla Ravagnolo, Colangelo & Partners, (646) 624-2885, [email protected]
SOURCE Marchesi Frescobaldi