by Marco Gemelli
It would be limiting to call it a museum for the way it puts together the past (the head offices, an ancient farm belonging to the Della Gherardesca family), the present - the area of Bolgheri, one of the most significant local wine-making reality - and the future, represented by the campus for young wine lovers. This sensorial and multimedia wine exhibition centre, called “Museum”and has only recently been inaugurated at Castagneto Carducci, endorsed by the three-time Oscar-winning Dante Ferretti and strongly desired by the entrepreneur Franco Malenotti together with Gaddo Della Gherardesca. The facility represents the first World Wine Town, a kind of local answer to the Cité du vin in Bordeaux and is located on the two floors within CasoneUgolino, a historic farm which, thoroughly converted, offers hospitality and refreshments paying close attention to the products and traditions of the area.The aim of the facility – costing 12 million euros divided between Monte deiPaschi di Siena, Banca di Credito Cooperative di Castagneto Carducci and private funds – is to build a network with the other Italian wine cities “Casa del Chianti Classico di Radda” in Chianti, “Wimu” of Barolo and the “Venice Wine Town”. The premises include the Wine Academy, the farmland and Mediterranean Cookery School, the AIS Wine School and the Scuola di Canapa, while, just these very days, work has started on a Campus for young people. Cutting edge of the World Wine Town is the museum, divided into 4 areas covering the same number of eras: the Historic Area where professor Attilio Scienza tells the history of wine from the Etruscan times to our days in six lessons; the Important Families Hall where the protagonists of the area meet – GaddodellaGherardesca, PieroAntinori and NiccolòIncisadellaRocchetta – as real-life holograms, entertaining visitors telling the story of Bolgheri: the Hall of Visionary Entrepreneurs with Pier Mario MelettiCavallari and Michele Satta telling how they discovered the area of Bolgheri and the history of the birth of the prestigious labels such as Grattamacco; and finally the Hall of the Future, a lesson about the effects of climate change and new wine productiontechniques, held by Federico Zileri.The Italian answer to Cité du vin in Bordeaux could not but be born at Castagneto Carducci, land of Bolgheri DOC, of Sassicaia, Ornellaia and many others of extraordinary quality. “It is a popularizing initiative”, explains Gaddo Della Gherardesca, “because we are very clever at producing but often we forget to say what we are doing: the museum wants to be a summary of what man has been able to do in Bolgheri in the last 40 years.” The Sensorial and Multimedia wine museum was the missing piece needed to complete this pearl of Italian food-and-wine culture, claiming its place by right in the circuit of international tourism of the sector. It is not by chance that in the next few years there will be a clear increase in tourism coming from the new strong economies which will privilege quality offers based on history, culture, food and wine.