In a pathbreaking initiative, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, one of Italy’s most prestigious wine producers, has released the first vintage of Gorgona, a wine made by prisoners. The “Frescobaldi per Gorgona” project is led by Vice President Lamberto Frescobaldi himself. Pictured, left. The project provides inmates the opportunity to learn winemaking techniques and job skills under the supervision of the company’s agronomists and winemakers.
“I am personally committed to this project and proud of the work done by the population of Gorgona as well as my team,” said Lamberto Frescobaldi.
With a 700-year-old history in winemaking, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, is a leading wine producer in Tuscany and one of the most respected companies in the world. It combines centuries of tradition with progressive winemaking techniques and practices. Founded in the 14th century and a supplier of wines to the royal courts of Europe for generations, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi is still a family-owned company today.
Fifty inmates contributed to the production of Gorgona, a white wine made from Vermentino and Ansonica grapes planted on the island of Gorgona in the Tyrrhenian Sea, close to the Tuscan coast. Total production is only 2,700 bottles. The Frescobaldi family have purchased a hectare of old vineyards here and have plans to add more vineyards in the upcoming months, states a press release.
The innovative socially conscious project was welcomed by Anna Maria Cancellieri, the Italian Minister for Justice, who said she would like to extend the programme to other prisons as well. Frescobaldi has also committed to hire some of the workers once they’ve paid their debt to society.
The Gorgona initiative, which began in August 2012 was financed by the Department of Penitentiary Administration and accomplished through the collaboration of the Gorgona Penitentiary’s Directorate and Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi.