Frescobaldi releases wine made by prisoners

3rd June, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Prominent Italian wine producer Frescobaldi has partnered with a group of prisoners on a tiny island in the Tuscan Archipelago on a white wine project.

Inmates at Gorgona prison tend their vines

Inmates at Gorgona prison tend their vines

Having planted vines on the island a number of years ago, inmates of the remote penal colony of Gorgona have made 2,700 bottles of Frescobaldi per Gorgona DOC, a Vermentino and Ansonica blend.

The vines are planted in a corner of the island to the north of Elba, where Napoleon was exiled by the British.

Despite their hard graft, the prisoners will not be allowed to drink the wine, which will instead be sold to restaurants and bars around Italy.

Thirteenth generation family member and the company’s vice president Lamberto Frescobaldi, who worked on the project, describes the wine as “intense, with a marvellous character.”

Marchese  Lamberto Frescobaldi proudly shows off Frescobaldi per Gorgona

Marchese Lamberto Frescobaldi proudly shows off Frescobaldi per Gorgona DOC

The Frescobaldi family, one of Italy’s oldest and most respected wine dynasties, were hands on throughout the project, offering the island’s 50 inmates advice on planting, picking and winemaking techniques.

Marchesi de’Frescobaldi is the first company take part in a scheme launched last year in which businesses invest in the island to give prisoners skills that will help them get a job after they’re released.

In addition to winemaking, the prisoners work on a farm producing cheese and olive oil.

The project was welcomed by Anna Maria Cancellieri, the Italian minister for justice, who said it could be replicated at other prisons.

“Initiatives like this have a constructive effect on inmates, allowing them to specialise in an area of work that will be useful to them once they leave prison.

“For prisoners who do not find work, the rate of repeat offending is 80%,” she said.

Italian prisons are the third most overcrowded in Europe after Serbia and Greece.

“We need to go ahead with this model because we want to show the world that Italy’s prisons are worthy of a civilised country,” Cancellieri added.

Many Italian islands have been used as prisons in the past, both for political prisoners and common criminals. Gorgona is one of the few still in operation.

Public access to Gorgona is forbidden without special permission and boats must keep 1,600ft from the shore.

2 Responses to “Frescobaldi releases wine made by prisoners”

  1. Martin Campion says:

    The title made me chuckle, but more importantly, that’s a noble cause. Has Frescobaldi considered offering the wine, cheese and oil together. That would make a great pack, a great story and could be sold at a premium to really raise some funds. I wonder if we could do the same somewhere on the Isle of Wight?

  2. Rupert says:

    is a article no? inside the wordy wordy and sentenums, is prisoner wine no? and reform, yes, I like, give it more a sequel not you do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more