Bocelli lends name to jailhouse wine11th July, 2014 by Simon Howland
An Italian wine made by prisoners has announced a collaboration with one of Italy’s biggest stars – Andrea Bocelli.
The renowned tenor has lent his name to Frescobaldi’s Gorgona wine project where prison inmates produce the wine under the professional guidance of some of the industries top winemakers.
The partnership is for the 2013 vintage of Gorgona, a white wine made with Vermentino and Ansonica grapes.
Bocelli, who has written a testimonial and signed the wines’ label, was keen to declare his support for the project and the region.
He said: “This project, which I have decided to support at the request of Lamberto Frescobaldi, entwines two of my passions; the vineyard of course, but also the Tuscan archipelago, a true paradise on Earth.”
A native Tuscan, he also acknowledged a personal link to those in the region who may be less fortunate.
“I am proud to reiterate that I never forget my peasant origins and that I feel myself to be a product of my homeland; the sum of the experiences of my past and my childhood memories,” he said.
As reported in the drinks business last year the Gorgona project offers prisoners in Tuscany’s last remaining island prison the opportunity to gain professional work experience in viticulture.
Vice President, Lamberto Frescobaldi, who is behind the project was clear on view.
“I am always more and more proud to present this project, which has seen my personal involvement, year after year, and still moves me emotionally, giving me not only excellent wine but also great satisfaction,” he said.
Carlo Mazzerbo, director of the Gorgona prison, gave some insight into the value to the prisoners themselves adding: “Our dream was to raise awareness of the particular social reality of this island through the production of wine, a product resulting from the synthesis of the traditions and culture of a region.”
Production is limited to 2500 bottles and 200 magnums, all individually numbered, which will be available on request in the UK through Frescobaldi’s agent Hallgarten Druitt. The likely RRP in the UK would be £75 per bottle.
All proceeds are to be reinvested in the project.
Earlier this year the opera star became the victim of a wine scam with fraudsters producing thousands of fake bottles of his branded wine, selling them for up to 10 times the cost.