F1 driver Trulli expands estate

F1 driver Trulli expands estate News Wine News
  • Wednesday 3 September 2003

Grand Prix driver Jarno Trulli has become a spokesman for his region's native red wine, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC.

The 30-year-old, one of only two Italian Grand Prix drivers this season, is something of a hero in his home region of Abruzzo, in eastern central Italy – and not just because of his improved track performance for Renault.

Trulli is also a serious wine producer, spending his off-track time working on expanding his family's country estate, Podere Castorani. The holdings consist of a 32ha organically-cultivated vineyard, some of which has been established more than 25 years. Abruzzese enologist Luca Patricelli is one of Trulli's three partners in the project. 'Most of our vines are planted in the tendone system – which forms a 'big tent' on trellises 1.8m high – that is traditional in Abruzzo,' he said.

Motor racing and wine production have their similarities, Trulli said. 'They are both worlds which look to the future and require serious investments of time and money to achieve high quality.'

He added, 'I have always been keen on wine – even if my present job doesn't allow me to drink much.' (He is not permitted any alcohol within two days of a race.)

'Recently we have expanded my family's country estate, and started making fine wine. And in this very hot summer of 2003, we are reaping its benefits, as the plants' leafy cover protects them from the burning sun.'

Patricelli, who has worked in Bordeaux, favours long macerations to increase the wine's complexity. 'We're looking for elegance and intensity, using a mix of traditional know-how and state-of-the-art technology,' Trulli said.

Podere Castorani's second release was voted best Montepulciano d'Abruzzo of 2001 in Italian daily Repubblica's wine guide.

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