Proust Q&A: Leonardo Frescobaldi

Leonardo Frescobaldi is the patriarch of one of Italy’s most illustrious winemaking families, Marchesi de’Frescobaldi. Having transferred most of his power to his nephew Lamberto Frescobaldi in 2013, Leonardo now serves as honorary president of the family group that owns Castello Nippozanno, Castello Pomino, Tenuta Castiglioni in Chianti, Remole in central Tuscany, Luce and Tenuta CastelGiocondo in Montalcino, Ammiraglia in coastal Tuscany and Ornellaia in Bolgheri. Under Leonardo’s leadership from 2007 to 2013 as its president, the group significantly boosted its international profile, exporting its wines to 87 countries around the world. The Marchese talks to dbHK right ahead of the Under Tuscan Sky event about his greatest achievement, his greatest regret and his most treasured possession.

Leonardo7296-13What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be in peace with our conscience.

What is your greatest fear?

Not to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Which living person do you most admire?

My wife Cristiana. 

What is your greatest extravagance?

To believe that I am normal.

What is your current state of mind?

Gratified.

What is the quality you most like in another person?

The quality to understand.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

Tuscany.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

None.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

To be less reserved and more perceptive.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The talent of a great painter.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

To have married Cristiana.

Where would you most like to live?

I have travelled all around the world, but if I have to make a definite choice, it would still have to be Tuscany. This is where my roots are, where my memories are and where my family is.

What is your most treasured possession?

The memories and experiences of my life. I hope I would never lose them. They are most precious.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Curiosity, interest, determination and stubbornness sometimes.

Who is your favourite writer?

It’s an Italian writer called Alessandro Manzoni.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Harrison Ford. That’s the first name that came to my mind.

What is it that you most dislike?

Arrogance is what I dislike the most, especially arrogant people.

What is your greatest regret? 

Sometimes I realize I am too much concentrated on myself. I could have done better at giving more time to understand what other people are feeling. I am much concentrated on my work, my family but we don’t look at, for instance, the problems or the people who are suffering around the world. We lack the sensitivity to understand how other people are suffering. Sometimes we are a bit selfish.

What is your motto?

Work. This is what I have been doing my whole life.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve?

I would invite some Asian friends from China and Japan, and instead of three, I would serve four wines. First I will start with a white wine, a Benefizio Riserva from Pomino. Then, a Castello Giacondo Brunello, a Mormoreto and a Giramonte.

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