The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2010

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Page 52 of 96

SPECIAL REPORT: ITALY Emilia Nardi of Silvio Nardi. Emilia Nardi Tenute Silvio Nardi, Tuscany Silvio Nardi was an Umbrian with a successful farm machinery business who bought an old winery estate in Montalcino in 1950. He was the first “foreigner” to invest in this as-yet- undiscovered wine region. Over time, the Nardi family acquired a number of other vineyards, including the prime Manachiara estate purchased in 1962. Silvio Nardi was one of the prime movers behind the foundation of the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium in 1967. No one anticipated that the succes- sor to Silvio’s leadership would be his strong-willed youngest daughter Emilia. Today, under her direction, Tenute Nardi controls 36 vineyards and has become one of the top producers of one of the world’s most celebrated wines. In 1997, Emilia began an ambi- tious replanting program, with specific emphasis on the individual terroir char- acteristics of each vineyard. —ADB KOBRAND Cinzia Merli La Macchiole, Tuscany Cinzia Merli makes some of the most sought-after wines in all of Italy from her estate in Bolgheri in Tuscany. Her winery, Le Macchiole, began in 1980. “I started to do wine only because my husband loved wine,” she told THE TASTING PANEL at Vinitaly, “So we started to produce wine and I learned to Cinzia Merli of Le Macchiole. 52 / the tasting panel / july 2010 love wine too. If I were born again I’d do the same thing.” In 2002, Cinzia’s husband Eugenio died. “I was devastated, but it seemed the natural thing to do—to continue.” But she was confronted with two very difficult vintages, 2002 and 2003. “I said to myself, ’What have I done?’” But 2004 was a great vintage, and Le Macchiole from that year went on to receive 100 points. “I understood I was moving in the right direction.” When she suddenly and unexpect- edly found herself running a winery, “I didn’t have time to think about being a woman in a man’s world.” Now Cinzia is able to look around and see other women running wineries and making wine. “We are a small group,” she smiles, “but we are growing.” —ADB DOMAINE SELECT Elena Walch with her 22-year-old daughter Karoline, who plans to study for her Master of Wine in Australia. tecture and entered the wine industry after marrying into an established wine family in Alto Adige. The family dated back to the 1800s, and Elena was known as “the wife of . . . .” Without a wine-school background, she was looked at suspiciously by neighbors. But, with her love of and passion for wine, Elena worked hard to gain their respect and today is a top producer in Alto Adige and the region’s representa- tive for Le Donne del Vino. Producing 35,000 cases each year, with 5–10% growth predicted each year, Elena’s wines are sold all over the world. —AL CHAMBERS & CHAMBERS Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti. Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti Badia a Coltibuono, Tuscany Badia a Coltibuono is a family- owned agriturismo estate, with wine production, originally by monks, dating back over 1,000 years. In 1846, the Prinetti family took over and grew the property, starting its first cooking school. Emanuela, the eldest child of four and the family's only daughter, returned to the winery at the age of 35 and took over the family business. She has run it for the past seven years, now focusing on sales and marketing while continuing to run the winery with her brother Roberto; brother Paolo runs the restaurant. Emanuela, who is also raising two sons, believes the ability to multitask is what makes women stronger. —AL DALLA TERRA Elena Walch Elena Walch, Alto Adige Elena Walch traded one “man’s world” for another when she left archi- Magda Pedrini. Magda Pedrini Magda Pedrini Wines, Ca’ da Meo, Gavi Magda Pedrini’s winery is not just a project; it is her dream. Magda was a university professor of Italian history and literature for 36 years, and then spent time in Nigeria with her husband until four years ago, when she was presented with the opportunity to buy a vineyard in Gavi. Although she had no previous experience making wine, a passion for the earth was her inspiration to begin. She currently produces 35,000 bottles per year from five hectares but intends to plant three more, eventually expanding to 60,000– PHOTO: ANTHONY DIAS BLUE

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