Uncorked: Giorgio Fragiacomo of Querciabella

Giorgio Fragiacomo, the export director of Querciabella, an organic producer in Italy, was recently in Hong Kong during a whirlwind trip to celebrate the new distribution partnership with local importer Sino Vantage. Founded in 1974, the estate makes organic, biodynamic and even vegan wines from 74 hectares of vineyards in Chianti Classico and another 32 hectares in Maremma. Fragiacomo chats to dbHK about the boundless joy of sailing, the disorienting jet lag and the “delicious elixir” of Querciabella ‘Batàr’.

What vintage are you? 

1965, I don’t think it was a particularly memorable year for wine.

What bottle sparked your love of wine? 

Not one but two bottles drunk on the same day on a farm in Western NSW when I was sixteen, a Pommard (I can’t remember the producer) and a Sauternes (Guiraud, I recall). I fell deeply, madly and passionately in love with wine on the spot.

What would you be as a wine? 

A fine old Burgundy. I love how they seem so ethereal, effortless, smooth and reassuring.

Where are you happiest? 

At the helm of a sailing boat or behind the oars of rowing boat. Many of the most memorable moments of my life have taken place on boats.

What’s your greatest vice? 

Wow I have lots of those! The greatest? I suppose I don’t take life seriously enough. I tend to focus on the enjoyable things!

Best advice you ever received? 

“Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe “ which translates to “If the winds fail – take to the oars.” That is to say if things don’t go your way, don’t sit around till they do. The Latin sounds so much cooler though!

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save? 

A Monprivato Barolo 1999 given to me by Giovanni Mascarello after a very adventurous sailing trip. It’s an amazing wine and brings back great memories.

What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business? 

The best: the people you meet – It’s incredible how much friendship can develop over a bottle of wine.

The worst? The jet lag. I am chronically jet lagged!

What’s on your wine bucket list? 

Visiting some of the colourful wine producers I have met over the years, especially those from far flung exotic wine growing areas. South Africa and New Zealand are at the top of my list.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? 

All the philosophers in the Monty Python song. It seems they enjoyed their drinks and the conversations would be thrilling.

Personal satisfaction (Parker points – out of 100)?

Very high, 85 to 90. I love the job that I am doing and working at Querciabella. I enjoy communicating the passion and attention to detail that goes into each bottle of wine we make, and I never get tired of drinking any of our range.

Which wine would you like served at your funeral?

It would definitely be a Querciabella Batàr as there is nothing a glass of this delicious elixir can’t cure – at least temporarily! I’m sure that it would put a smile on people’s faces!

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