This time Carlo Macchi takes the stand.
Almost a year has passed since Giulio Gambelli left us, and the prize in his name, aimed at young winemakers, under the age of 35, who make their wines following his ideals, offering maximum respect to the grapes to obtain wines that clearly express both the varietal they are made from and their terroir.
The prize is sponsored by ASET, the association of Tuscan Food and Wine Journalists, and the IGP Group, five journalists that those who read this column know quite well. The prize also enjoys the support of the Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Consortia, and also of the wineries Giulio held most dear, and whose wines owe much to Giulio’s touch – here they are, in random order: Bibbiano, Rencine, Cacchiano, Villarosa, Rodano, Poggio di Sotto, Montevertine, il Colle, San Donatino, Case Basse, Lilliano.
The prize (1500 €) will be awarded Tuesday February 19 2013 at 11.30 at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence, during the Tuscan vintage presentations.
This is the future of the prize, but I would also like to touch on the initial phase, that in which my colleagues, whom I thank, suggested young winemakers; we received 25 names, which became 23 because two didn’t qualify for various reasons. And here are the finalists: Francesco Bordini, Paula Cook, Erik Dogliotti, Luca Faccenda, Matteo Berté, Claudia Galterio, Franco Pasetti, Federico Faraone, Angelo Molisani, Giacomo Mattioli, Rocco Vallorano, Cristiano Garella, Gabriele Gadens, Giampaolo Venica, Fabrizio Torchio, Sieghard Vaja, Mattia Filippi, Elena Fucci and Arianna Occhipinti (nominated twice ), Dino Dini,Fabio Rossi, Marta Rinaldi and Davide Fasolini.
These are young winemakers from all over Italy, who work throughout the country (and in some cases abroad). We asked each to send us from 1 to 5 of their wines, released in 2012. These wines will be tasted on January 20 by a jury consisting of five representatives of ASET and the five IGP, and the winner will be selected.
This first, shall we say institutional part serves to provide the background of a prize dedicated to a man who left a great void, not just professional but also personal, and I would like to give space to the wonderful feelings I had when, after the announcement, I began to get calls from young winemakers. In addition to expressing their pleasure at being nominated, they talked about their work and their hopes and ideas. I found myself immersed in the vibrant world in which these young winemakers are creating their future, and I sincerely hope that the Gambelli Prize will help them to become better known.
At the end of each call I thought of Giulio, who was perhaps grinning at the thought that the phalanx of young winemakers he had helped start out was expanding. Even though he would never have admitted it, I am certain he’d have been very pleased to know that these young winemakers felt honored to participate in a prize dedicated to his memory.
What to say… we started quietly and find ourselves with a group of young winemakers who are counting the days to January 20, eager to know who will be the first recipient of the Giulio Gambelli prize. Though they will have to bide their time, because the winner won’t be announced until the Tuscan Anteprime, at the Stazione Leopolda on February 19.