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News Martedi 06 Ottobre 2015

I tell stories about wine because the passion for wine is in my DNA

The interview to Marilisa Allegrini, owner of Allegrini Estates

di Agnese Ceschi

Marilisa Allegrini

How was your passion for wine born?
My passion for wine was born with my birth. My family has been producing wine for a long time. When I was young, at home my father spoke of wine. It is a passion that I have in the DNA.

When was the winery born?
I represent the sixth generation. The winery was born with my great-great-grandfather in the mid-1800s, although the family Allegrini existed in Valpolicella since long before. Traces related to our surname and connected to an agricultural activity date back to the XV century.
 

Which adjective would you give to the winery?
Innovative. Both from the productive and technical cultivation of vineyards point of view, we have always tried to look past, treasuring tradition. For example we have innovated with the implantation of the first Guyot vineyard in Valpolicella, The Grola, or with the use of Corvina grapes 100% in 1979, a forerunner choice compared to the history of Valpolicella.

Who is the innovative soul of the family Allegrini?
Travelling around the world, I have always been the curious side of the family. But I had a great support by my brother Franco who managed to transfer the concept of innovation in the technical choices. Our aim was to produce wines with specific organoleptic characteristics, which were not only related to the knowledge of the consumers from Valpolicella, but opened the doors of the great markets of the world.
 

A curiosity or a lesson related to international markets?
I've seen a lot of strange and unusual things. The approach to the international markets thought me that it is important to make quality wines, but also to tell stories communicating emotions and values. Putting the wine in a narrative and cultural context gives the product a certain appeal that is much higher than what the product is. Our tradition and culture are an absolute plus.

What is the weak point of Italian wine system?
Italian companies do not know how to make system, to cooperate. Union makes strength.

Pros and cons of this job?
There are more pros than cons. You can learn about different worlds and this opens your mind. Conversely we must commit and work hard, but this to me is a good thing because doing nothing bores me.

Which other job would you have done?
Undoubtedly, and with a little regret, the doctor. I studied physiotherapy and for a period I worked in hospital. It was, however, a second choice, because my father did not want me to study medicine. He wanted me to join the winery. Evidently my emotional transfer was caught by my daughter Carlotta who is about to graduate in medicine in few weeks.
 

Adjective that you would give to yourself...
Curious and energetic. I don’t know what it is tiredness.

A curiosity of your childhood and youth ...
I remember an anecdote. I was 16 and a Tv programme had come to make an interview to my father. The journalist asked me: "Would you marry a person who does your father’s job?" And I said, 'Absolutely not. My mom says it's better to marry a workman". I remember that my mother was terrified by hail, which could destroy the whole year production and in that case it was hard to make ends meet. The job of the winemaker was different once upon a time.

And today?
If my mom was terrified by the hail, now I am worried about the financial crisis. The entrepreneur can no longer do as before: to decide, invest and collect results related to his/her capacity. Today it is not so, we have more uncertainties.

Who is the entrepreneur then?
The entrepreneur is the one who takes money to reinvest it. He/She must believe in what he/she does and wants to see the future of his/her company. And above all it must have a vision. This is why despite the crisis I am not afraid, because Italian wines will always have a great appeal. Wine consumption is increasing worldwide because now the wine is almost a phenomenon that characterizes a lifestyle.