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Napoli manager thanks journalists with his own wine

Napoli football club manager Luciano Spalletti thanked journalists attending his final press conference of the season with a bottle of his own wine.

Though Milan clinched its first Scudetto in over a decade and Napoli was left 7 points adrift in third, Spalletti still has cause to celebrate as his team has qualified for next season’s Champions League. The manager, who has previously headed Roma and Internazionale, may have been working in Southern Italy for a year now, but he is proudly Tuscan, like his wine.

La Rimessa is described as the Spalletti family’s “beautiful estate of about 50 hectares near Montaione”, just west of his hometown of Certaldo. The grounds boast of farmhouses for tourists to stay, tennis courts, olive groves, a lake and even an ostrich. Spalletti owns vineyards nearby where Sangiovese, Merlot, Vermentino and Trebbiano grapes are hand picked. According to Football Italia, he became particularly enthusiastic about winemaking after he was sacked by Inter in 2019.

Indeed, 2019 is the vintage Spalletti chose for the journalists. The Bordocampo he gave out is made from 100% organically cultivated Sangiovese, with a 2015 example retailing for GBP£18.48.

One Vivino review, from a man who appears to be an Inter supporter, gave the wine a 3.5 rating and commented that “Spalletti is better suited to wine.” This backhanded compliment comes in spite of Spalletti securing Champions League qualification for the club prior to his sacking.

However, Antonio Petrazzuolo of Napoli Magazine (who took the photo) was grateful for the wine and the team’s success. He remarked that the season closed “with a bang” after Napoli’s 3-0 victory over Spezia, despite falling short of the title.

Though Spalletti has been Napoli boss for a season, he stays in a hotel in the city and treats La Rimessa as his main residence. He is reportedly considering buying a camper van so that he can stay in different neighbourhoods and attend festivals. The volatility of life as a Serie A manager is almost comparable to trying to make a career as a winemaker.

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