Notes From the Winemaker - January 31st, 2014

Fernando Franco (L), Gianni Zonin and I, January 27thBuongiorno

Happy new year to the good friends of Barboursville. All deserve a share in Wine Enthusiast's selection of our founder and owner, Gianni Zonin, for his Lifetime Achievement in wine. The award was bestowed at a gala reception and dinner in New York, at the historic Public Library in midtown, on Monday evening, January 27th, in a celebration of distinguished contributions from winegrowers the world over. 

I could not resist the invitation to attend, together with our longtime viticulturist Fernando Franco. Accompanying Dottore Gianni and Silvana Zonin, among other colleagues, were their sons Domenico, Francesco, and Michele, who represent the 7th consecutive generation to be engaged in the family firm since its founding in 1821. 

Taking the achievements of Gianni Zonin in viticulture into view, means traversing not merely some 50 vintages in his own life, but almost every growing region of his native Italy, where he has developed or acquired nine estates of unprecedented viticultural diversity and global reach of distribution -- in addition to his one non-Italian estate, Barboursville Vineyards. 

Gianni Zonin greeting 360 wine writers and sommeliers at the Cavaliere Hilton, Rome, October 23rd, "Gianni Zonin Day" hosted by the Association of Sommeliers of Rome. Gianni Zonin's success is attributable to his development of each vineyard in his hands with exactly the focus and inspiring confidence which have allowed Barboursville to "set the standard," as so many critics and honors attest, for this region. Sauvignon Blanc produced at hisCa' Bolani estate in Friuli has been cited among the finest in the world; the Nero d'Avola produced at his Feudo Principi di Butera in Sicily has won top honors in Italian competitions; and of course his Acciaiolo fromCastello d'Albola in Chianti is one of the region's most coveted wines.
2014 will give us many historic celebrations, as the Newsletter will shortly announce; and they all reflect upon Gianni Zonin's leadership of this estate. The obvious centerpiece, this year, will be the feast October 11, for the bicentennial of Thomas Jefferson's mansion for Governor Barbour, which he and Silvana Zonin have preserved as a Virginia historic landmark. The occasion will also mark the 15th anniversary of Palladio Restaurant, with a certain limited edition of Octagon, of distinctive interest. To reserve, please do call Palladio soon, (540) 832-7848.