Marilisa Allegrini, Owner and Ambassador of Allegrini Estates

Taste Profiles by JoAnn Actis-Grande / April, 2014
Valpolicella Classico, Italy: One of the leading wine producers in Italy today, the Allegrini family can trace its roots back to the 16th century. Marilisa Allegrini, a member of the sixth generation of the family, became one of the first women to successfully promote wine, as well as the Valpolicella region throughout the world. In the 21st century, Allegrini Estates added two vineyards in Tuscany to their portfolio: Poggio al Tesoro in Bolgheri (2001) and San Polo, an existing winery in Montalcino (2007). The estates are headquartered in a 16th-century compound, Villa della Torre.
When did you become interested in wine?
Wine has always been a part of my life and part of a discussion. My father, Giovanni, had great passion for agriculture, especially winemaking, and changed the ways wine was made in our region with innovation and modern techniques that
resulted in quality wine. Having two brothers, naturally I knew they would work with my father. I wanted to be a doctor. After receiving a degree I worked as a physical therapist. After five years, my father asked me to return home to become involved in the business.
Since my father wanted to stay local, he asked me to do marketing and public relations to help get the word out about Valpolicella and our viticultural revolution. The first market I worked was the United States in New York, Boston, and Chicago.
Tell us about your wines, La Grola and La Poja.
Both were first released in 1983 and are celebrating 30 years. La Grola are some of the most famous vineyards in Valpolicella and the birthplace of the Corvina grape—a native grape and the backbone of great red wines in the area. The wine has a deep ruby color, complex and full-bodied, with a soft mouth feel with notes of tobacco, coffee, and wild berries. We are offering a limited edition with restyled graphics similar to the first label.
La Poja is the only 100 percent Corvina single-vineyard in Valpolicella, situated high on a hill with great sun exposure. It is one of our most significant wines. The wine is rich, well balanced, and very lively, with blackberries, spice, and dark chocolate.
Do you produce other wines?
Yes, Allegrini produces many wines in Valpolicella. Amarone is one of our legendary wines—made from partially dried grapes, it’s an elegant, velvety wine with aromas of raisin. Also, we have expanded with two new wineries in Tuscany. Poggio al Tesoro is close to the sea, where we planted great international grape varietals—Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. We also produce Vermentino, a lovely white wine.
San Polo is in Montalcino, an area noted for its famous wine, Brunello di Montalcino, from Sangiovese grapes. The winery is “biodynamical architecture.” There are 50 acres, one single plot overlooking the valley with great exposure and climate. The soil has lots of chalk, best for Sangiovese and Brunello.
Tell us about Villa della Torre.
The historical villa was built around a courtyard with incredible architectural design. The interior has many interesting aspects with huge fireplaces and a hall of mirrors, to name a few. There is a chapel and a unique cave made from elements of the earth and sea. We host many events here. The movie Romeo and Juliet directed by Carlo Carlei used Villa della Torre as the home of Romeo. I live at the Villa but will be moving to Verona next year.
What other wines do you enjoy, and what do you do for fun?
Pinot Noir from Burgundy and Riesling from Alsace, France. For fun, I love sports—skiing, hiking, and biking. I find cooking a great way to relax.

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