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Lamberto Frescobaldi on Vinitaly and the future: «Let's focus on making fine wines»

Interview with the president of Marchesi Frescobaldi, recently elected President of the Unione Italiana Vini. «Covid taught us to be better organised»

Lamberto Frescobaldi was unanimously elected pres

Lamberto Frescobaldi was unanimously elected president of the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV). In this photo he's at the Frescobaldi booth at Vinitaly, where we interviewed him

Lamberto Frescobaldi was unanimously elected president of the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV). The president of Marchesi Frescobaldi takes this role after Ernesto Abbona and will be supported by vice presidents Chiara Lungarotti (sole administrator at Cantine Lungarotti) and Sandro Sartor (GM at Ruffino Group and the EMEA region of Constellation Brands). 

We met Lamberto Frescobaldi during Vinitaly, in April: here are his thoughts on the fair and on the future of wine after the pandemic.

How was Vinitaly?
It was a beautiful Vinitaly. We started, rather than restarted. There were many good professionals, a fine enthusiasm and most of all it allowed us to talk about wine and not other sad subjects, like the situation in Ukraine, and we could put Covid behind us.

Some have questioned the real utility of fairs. Does Vinitaly still work?
Yes, absolutely. I'm positive: I cannot imagine a year without Vinitaly. We have asserted this as a company, we even participated in the “mini Vinitaly”, the Special Edition [in October 2021] where we brought our wines and met with some good clients.

Lamberto Frescobaldi looks at his winery's fields: «We must focus on making good wine»

Lamberto Frescobaldi looks at his winery's fields: «We must focus on making good wine»

Should Vinitaly format change?
Vinitaly is like a starting point to visit many other things: the Langhe, Puglia, Sicily, Tuscany, all the Italian regions, which can show not just great fine wines, but also great landscapes, charming villages and extraordinary food… And let's not forget the fair's attractiveness. However, we must urge politicians to improve airports, to give space to railroads, to give incentives to hotels, so that they can be renovated, because some are a somewhat run-down. Today, the audience is “biased” by some areas that are only touristy, but we can give something more. Yet Italy should adapt a little…

The winery at Frescobaldi's Tenuta di Nipozzano 

The winery at Frescobaldi's Tenuta di Nipozzano 

For wineries, there's the issue of cost increases for paper and glass, but also for gasoline and transport. Will it be necessary to increase the price of wine, or are there any other strategies available?
We don't have many options, these days. Our weapons are a little “worn”. There are some giants that produce bottles, and even they are very few now. There are relatively few producers of corks, and the same goes for paper producers… We don't have many weapons, but we can organise ourselves a little better. We can plan well ahead, over a few months, so as to give our suppliers more time to plan without chasing our orders. Plus we're irrelevant. A winery is too small. Companies that buy one, ten, or one hundred million bottles, won't tip the scales. Today, as ever, we must make our profit by thinking of wine, and not raw materials. Raw materials are a variable that, if the prices increase, we must manage to "include" in the price of the bottle.

The election of the president of Unione Italiana Vini

The election of the president of Unione Italiana Vini

Covid, two years to forget. Or has the pandemic taught us anything?
For sure, we have redesigned the organisation of the winery, to reduce costs. Before, we used to be like loose cannons, we would do all sorts of things. Now we select more, even though this won't make many people happy. But our profession is the same: to make wine, and make it always better.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

In cantina

Stories of men, women and bottles that enrich the galaxy of wine, in Italy and in the world


Raffaele Foglia

A journalist for La Provincia di Como, sommelier and craft beer lover. He believes every glass of wine has a story worth telling. He's part of the wine editorial staff at Identità Golose

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