A Major Italian Name Shifts—Allegrini Family Divides Wine Company Between Veneto and Tuscany

One of Italy’s top wine families is dividing their company in two, as a new generation plays a larger role. Wine Spectator has learned that the Allegrini family, one of the leading names in Amarone wine, is restructuring its estates and companies in Veneto’s Valpolicella region and Tuscany’s Bolgheri and Montalcino areas.

Once the arrangement is finalized, brothers Francesco, Giovanni and Matteo Allegrini will acquire majority holdings of the Allegrini estate in Valpolicella and its négociant label, Corte Giara, managing the companies with their cousin Silvia Allegrini.

Their aunt, Marilisa Allegrini, and her daughters Carlotta and Caterina Allegrini, will shift their winemaking focus to Tuscany, retaining ownership of Poggio al Tesoro in Bolgheri and Poggio San Polo in Montalcino. They will also continue to run the family’s chief hospitality operation, the Villa della Torre luxury hotel in Fumane, Valpolicella.

[article-img-container][src=2023-12/ns_allegrini-heirs-121423_1600.jpg] [credit= (Courtesy Allegrini)] [alt= Matteo, Silvia, Giovanni, Francesco Allegrini in the cellar.][end: article-img-container]

It’s a dramatic separation in a premier wine family and reaching an agreement was challenging. “The choice to take a different path from that which was traced historically by the Allegrini brand was not easy,” said Marilisa, “Especially on a sentimental level.”

Francesco Allegrini told Wine Spectator, “For some time now, my brothers Giovanni and Matteo, and myself, have embarked on a journey that has formalized with the acquisition of the majority of Allegrini and Corte Giara. An important step, born with the aim of ensuring a solid future and an innovative push to the companies, driven by our enthusiasm and based on significant foundations built over time.”

A Company of Siblings

The surviving senior family member, Marilisa has dedicated four decades to growing Allegrini’s production and sales, name recognition and overall success. Following the death of her father, Giovanni, in 1983 at just 63 years old, a young Marilisa worked alongside her brothers: Walter, who died unexpectedly in 2003, and Franco, who succumbed to cancer in early 2022. Silvia is Walter’s daughter; Francesco, Giovanni and Matteo are Franco’s sons.

“When my father passed away, the Allegrini winery was relatively small. It was an enormous challenge for myself and my brothers—young and not really experts—to carry on his legacy,” said Marilisa, in a 2021 interview with Wine Spectator. “The work that Franco and Walter did [to focus on quality] on the production side was amazing. My job was to become the ambassador of the winery and to communicate all the hard work they were doing at the winery.”

Walter and Franco, and then later, Franco on his own, had a considerable impact on the quality of the wines. In the vineyards their work included replanting high-yielding pergola-trained vines with double Guyot training, converting to organic viticulture and employing precision management of cover crops, foliage and more.

In the cellar, Franco strove for elegance and balance—even during a period that the wine world looked for powerful, extracted reds, something Amarone could easily deliver. Franco’s quest for harmony would spur him to confront the oxidative issues common to many Amarones in the 1980s and 1990s because of botrytis forming on grapes during the crucial appassimento drying process. To eliminate the problem, he led the construction of a 54,000-square-foot drying facility to better control humidity, temperature and airflow.

[article-img-container][src=2023-12/ns_marilisa-121423_1600.jpg] [credit= (Collin Dutton)] [alt= Marilisa Allegrini at Villa…


Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/allegrini-family-divides-italian-wine-company

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