Twenty three miles off the coast of the Tuscan seaside resort of Livorno lies what at first glance seems an idyllic island, with forests rising up out of the sea and the sun dancing on the terracotta roofs of the houses around the harbour and all around the hillside. This is the island of Gorgona which despite appearances is in fact a penal colony that was established in 1869 and houses some of Italy’s most violent criminals who are coming to the end of their sentences.
Since 2011, the Frescobaldi family have been involved in this extraordinary project, working in partnership with the inmates on the island. The project aims to provide inmates with practical experience in the areas of grape cultivation and winemaking by working closely with Frescobaldi agronomists and oenologists. Most of the daily work is performed by the inmates however during harvest a winemaker from Frescobaldi will spend 3 weeks living on the island, guiding the winemaking process.
It is in a small vineyard located in an amphitheatre-shaped area that overlooks the sea, which today, measures two hectares, including the original plot and a second area planted in 2015. From this vineyard of Vermentino and Ansonica grapes emerges Gorgona, the fruit of a unique location and human toil, a symbol of hope and freedom.
Each year, an “extraordinary edition” of the label is produced, detailing a different aspect of the island.
Wild yet enticing, Gorgona 2019 stands out with its intense, bright straw-yellow colour with radiant gold hues. Its bouquet is complex and wide-ranging without ever being intrusive. It begins with hints of white fruit, followed immediately by the sensual, enveloping notes of the aromatic herbs typical of the island, such as rosemary and helichrysum. As well as enhancing its aromas, the sea also gives the wine a marked minerality and freshness. The balance between acidity and flavour is exceptionally harmonious, as is the soft, enveloping attack. The finish is persistent yet elegantly suave.
Food matches: Fish-based main dishes, Fish-based pasta or rice dishes