Michel Rolland has been appointed consultant at Ludovico and Piero Antinori’s Bolgheri estate, Tenuta Campo di Sasso.
The estate has just unveiled plans for a new 7,000sq m environmentally friendly cellar, capable of vinifying some 3,500 hectolitres of wine – which the new consultant ‘has carte blanche to implement according to his technical requirements,’ Ludovico Antinori said
Antinori said it was not difficult to convince Rolland – who is Bordeaux-based and consults for some 103 wineries in 12 countries – to take the job.
‘We have been friends for over 10 years,’ he said. ‘Michel started working for me when I created Ornellaia. We are not looking to compete with Ornellaia [which is now owned by fellow Tuscan producer Frescobaldi] but we hope to gain Michel’s exclusivity.’
Lamberto Frescobaldi, for whom Rolland still consults, says he is not worried about possible competition. ‘We will continue to strengthen our relationship with him so that we mutually grow together,’ he said.
Rolland will dedicate 4-5 days a year to Campo di Sasso, while Swedish winemaker Helena Lindberg – suggested to Antinori by Ornellaia’s ex-winemaker Thomas Duroux, now working for Chateau Palmer in Bordeaux – will be their full-time winemaker.
Campo di Sasso, which already produces an entry level wine, Insolio del Cinghiale, will launch Il Pino di Biserno, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot at Vinitaly 2006. Another premium wine, Biserno, a similar blend but including 17% Syrah, will be released in 2008.
‘As always, new soil brings new wines,’ Rolland said.
Michel Rolland currently consults for 4 estates in Italy: Ornellaia, Campo di Sasso, Tenimenti Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari, and Montebello – a new project close to Siena.
Written by Michele Shah