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Marilisa Allegrini at La Poya vineyard, Allegrini, Valpolicella, Italy

Meet Marilisa Allegrini, wine women extraordinare…The Voice of Amarone.

 For this International Women’s Day, 108th Anniversary celebration we thought we would introduce you to one remarkable woman in our field. She is Marilisa Allegrini, CEO of Allegrini, one of the most respected and highly acclaimed wineries of Italy. It is located in the storied wine growing region of Valpolicella. Allegrini is world-renowned in particular for their exceptional production of the iconic wine Amarone. She is known as the “Voice of Amarone” and been often described as a “Wine Star”. 

 Marilisa is the first Italian woman wine producer to grace the cover of one of the most respected and famous wine magazines in the world, The Wine Spectator. Since the early 1980’s Marilisa has been traveling the world sharing her passion for both the wines of Allegrini and the region of Valpolicella. 

We had the opportunity to meet with the dynamic CEO of what today is regarded as one of the leading producers not only in this region but also in Italy as a whole.

We asked Marilisa to share with us the story behind Allegrini.

We learn that the Allegrini family has been involved with grape growing and winemaking since the 1500’s handing down grape growing and winemaking traditions over six generations.

Its roots lie in a small village Fumane de Valpolicella located just north of Verona. The family played a prominent role in the local community as one of the most important landowners, involved in agricultural work and upholding local traditions. “It was’, as she goes on to explain with great admiration, ”

how the intelligence and hard work of her father Giovanni an instinctive man with respect to the land and innovative winemaking practices was integral in earning the reputation Allegrini enjoys today”.

Allegrini Logo

We’d like to feature one very special lady today on these pages. She is Marilisa Allegrini, the CEO of the family owned and operated Azienda Agricola Allegrini. Established in 1854 although Marilisa maintains it was many centuries before that her family was involved in making wine. It is considered a premier, and one of the most revered, award wining wineries in the historical and storied wine region of Valpolicella, Italy, also home of the iconic wine Amarone. 

Listen to Marilisa Allegrini at 29:40 minutes in the show

The Wine Ladies private wine tasting with Marilisa Allegrini.
 We had the opportunity to meet Marilisa on a recent visit to Toronto. She is a very special lady indeed, a woman of  passion, and dedication, of brilliance and of grace. Here she shared with us a little history of Allegrini, the past, present and future. We also  talked about Marilisa’s role as CEO, the role of women in general in this industry, the challenges and the opportunities. 
Allegrini La Poja 2011
Allegrini La Poja 2011
Palazzo della Torre 2014
Palazzo della Torre 2014
International Women's Day
International Women’s Day

Zonta Celebrates International Women’s Day…Celebrating 108 years in 2019!

Marilisa Allegrini, the first Italian woman wine producer to grace the cover of Wine Spectator

Rennie Estate Winery

 Yet another entrepreneur who has turned his passion for wine into his own brand, Rennie Estate Winery

 Rennie Estate Winery smitten with the vine

 Yet another entrepreneur who has turned his passion for wine into his own brand, Rennie Estate Winery. Wine aficionados from all walks of life are giving into their passion for wine putting big bucks on the line. Buying up vineyards, starting wineries and even becoming the winemakers themselves!

Last issue we explored just how much the wonderful world of wine is capturing the hearts of such a diverse and eclectic group from entrepreneurs to sports icons, musicians, doctors, business tycoons and actors, including our very own Dan Aykroyd, Jim Cuddy,Wayne Gretzky just to name a few.

We introduced you to Dr. Gary Glassman, aka Dr. G, an Endodontic Specialist.

A celebrity endodontist actually, from Toronto who realized his dream and became a part owner of a winery in Mendoza, Argentina. Here we take up where we left off. And continue the story with the introduction of Graham Rennie and his widely applauded wines from the Niagara Escarpment.We bade our farewell to Dr. G and headed off to what would be our final stop on this delectable afternoon of wine discovery.

Heading over to the fabulous Trattoria Timone Ristorante located in our hometown of Oakville.

With just a forty-five minute window we are up for a whirlwind wine tasting with yet another entrepreneur who has turned his passion for wine into his own brand, Rennie Estate Winery. Graham Rennie is the Chairman and CEO of Integra Capital, a Canadian asset management firm that he founded in 1987.

We first met Graham and his wife Christine at a dinner party close to twenty years ago. At that time they were actively exploring purchasing their own vineyard. Their passion for wine as they spoke that evening left no doubt in anyone’s mind that there would someday be a Rennie wine label. And so it came to be in 2010 when the Rennies relocated to Beamsville to pursue their dream and purchased a 50-acre property on the prestigious Beamsville Bench sub appellation located in the Niagara Escarpment.

Still in full force money management CEO Graham has managed to also pursue his passion for wine and eek out ample time to play an integral role in this exciting endeavour.

Rennie Estate Winery

We noshed on Timone’s scrumptious Margherita pizza, grilled shrimp and antipasto platter.

From participating in the selection of the vineyard plantings, to monitoring the progress of the grapes as they mature on the vine to the definitive style of Rennie’s wines, this is no absentee landlord.” We always wanted to grow the best fruit we could,”said Graham. In 1999 Rennie, his wife Christine and family planted five varietals with clones all sourced from the highly reputed and recognized Mercier nursery in France. A mix of Pinot Noir 28%, Chardonnay 17%, 20% Merlot 20%, Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon makes up the plantings of which the majority is sold to other wineries for their premium wines. A small portion of the harvest is reserved for the Rennie Estate Winery brand. It is artfully and meticulously crafted by Malivoire winery winemaker Shiraz Mottiar.

“I like big, red wines, and enjoying them with our friends,”enthuses Graham.

“Our cool climate viticultural region makes it tough to make full bodied red wines from Bordeaux varietals here every year.” “We produce appassimento style Bordeaux blends and whole cluster fermentation Burgundy varietal wines which have come to define Rennie Estate Winery,” reveals Graham. The world renown Italian wine Amarone is produced in the appassimento style. Which essentially is an Italian term for drying harvested grapes, traditionally on straw mats forup to 100 days. This concentrates the sugars and the flavours resulting in rich, opulent, concentrated red wines. Graham went on to develop a grape drying chamber to replicate the traditional technique used for Amazon, in conjunction with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Before us are four wines, one of which is the Rennie Estate Winery 2014 Assemblage.

We learn is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. These grapes are dried in the custom made drying room for between 86-105 days. The berries are then fermented in small batches for over two weeks. Off to French oak barrels for 21 months of aging. In our glasses now, a rich, opulent full-bodied red wine with intense dark fruit and black cherry flavours.  Accompanied by seductive suggestive notes of vanilla. 2014 Assemblage gets an A+! We also sample Rennies Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both very impressive! If you would like more information or to enjoy any of Graham and Christine’s wines visit www.rennieestatewinery.com for prices and availability.

That is about all for us as our day draws to a close. It has been an incredible day of wine discovery, fine wines, food and fairytale! Seeing both Dr.Glassman and Graham Rennie and witnessing their realization of their dreams made this a special day for us too!

We wonder who will be next to be so smitten with the vine and have their own wine? Perhaps it’s our turn, TWL Wines, has a bit of a ring to it, don’t you think?

If you would like more information or to enjoy any of Graham and Christine’s wines visit www.rennieestatewinery.com for prices and availability.

Christine Chardonnay 2015

Christine Chardonnay 2015

Christine Chardonnay 2015

If you are a great fan of great Chardonnay like we are, here’s a wine for you! So inviting! On the nose, seductive with scents of spicy orange rind, tropical fruits and baked apple. On the palate it is rich with flavours echoing the notes of the bouquet. Creamy, with the baked apple, hints of barrel oak spices and good acidity all in wonderful balance. Look forward to a lingering finish! $40.00

Rennie Estate Winery

Rennie Estate Winery

Rennie Estate Paradox 2015 Pinot Noir

The winemaker’s notes on this says it all when it comes to the bouquet. “The nose is treated to raisin bread.” “Violet, and spicy, faintly smoky traces of blueberry, clove, cinnamon stick and pepper.” On the palate plenty of red fruit inclusive of cherry, strawberry and cranberry. Notes of spice and mocha and a lingering very satisfying finish! Production very limited to 76 cases. $40.00

Passion turns to Purpose, Celebrity Endodontist turned winemaker!

Ask The Wine Ladies- Can you tell us about the Valpolicella,Veneto?

DEAR WINE LADIES,

We used to drink Valpolicella from Classico quite a few years back. Recently we came across one you mentioned on one of your shows. The Negrar Ripasso which we very much enjoyed. I’d like to know a little more about this wine and the region. Thank you Wine Ladies!

– Jackie

DEAR JACKIE,

Vino from Veneto…love the wines, love the region!  Valpolicella is a wine that comes from the region of Veneto, located in the north east of Italy, home of the “big gun” Amarone and Romeo and Juliet!

When a Valpolicella is classified as a Classico and done in the ripasso method, the wine reaches new heights in flavour, texture, body and aromatics! The designation of “classico” requires the grapes to come from the original Valpolicella production zone. In 1968 this zone was later adjusted.The great majority of grapes used are the same as for Amarone, the Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella varietals although small percentages of a few others are permitted.

The methodology of “ripasso” is an ancient wine making technique used for centuries in Valpolicella wineries, which gives the wine more structure, body and fuller flavour. How? Ripasso” literally means “re-passed”. Amarone is produced using  grapes that have been dried for several months. These same skins of those dried grapes are then used for the production of Valpolicella Ripasso. These dried grape skins add body, character, complexity and a boost of alcohol strength.

The Negrar Ripasso Valpolicella Classico is dark ruby red in colour, is seductive in the nose with lush blackberry and black licorice notes and a hint of spice Full bodied, velvety smooth, rich and with a good finish.

Negrar is a cooperative winery founded in 1933 and located in th Classico area of Valpolicella. With 210 farmers/partners producing typical grapes for Vapolicella on a surface of 530 hectares, they are one of the major producers of Amarone, Valpolicella and Ripasso wines.

www.thewineladies.com

As read in Community Captured

Spectator Marilisa Allegrini

Marilisa Allegrini, the first Italian woman wine producer to grace the cover of Wine Spectator

Marilisa Allegrini is the first Italian woman wine producer to grace the cover of Wine Spectator! We have a fantastic show for you today all in celebration of International Women’s Day that is coming up on March 8th, International Women’s Day was officially launched in 1911 and today over 100 years later IWD is celebrated around the world with 1000’s of events taking place honouring women everywhere for their various achievements.

Listen to the Audio Podcast here now.

Episode 54: February 21, 2017

Off to Italy next with Marilisa Allegrini, owner of Italy’s 2016 Winery of the Year, a global ambassador for the iconic wine region of Veneto. A voice for the women today in this business traditionally dominated by men, the “voice of Amarone”. Marilisa will join us and share her story of this historic winery going back six generations, explore her philosophy, her challenges and her greatest accomplishments.

Listen at 13:47 minutes into the show.

Amazing afternoon meeting and tasting a selection of wines with  Marilisa Allegrini, “the voice of Amarone “, proprietor Allegrini vineyards. Check it out here. 

The spectacular Villa della Torre in Fumane di Valpolicella, today the official reception venue of the Allegrini group companies.

Sandro Bottega Club Grappa

On this week’s radio show…A taste of Italy…Amarone, Grappa & Italian cuisine.Introducing Fabulous Finds For Foodies… Alioli Ristorante, Mississauga, Ontario

Bottega SpA Grappa Distillery

Bottega SpA Grappa Distillery

Join us May 13th for “An Evening with Luca Speri”. Spectacular cuisine, incredible wines and an amazing night at the fabulous Alioli Ristorante  in Mississauga,Ontario, this month’s pick for our Fabulous Finds For Foodies.

On this week’s radio show… A taste of Italy…Amarone,Grappa and Italian cuisine.

We’ve got a little international flair…with calls coming in all the way from our featured country, that is Italy… our focus today  … a stunning wine region, known for an iconic and unique wine, plus for being home to a very historical and romantic city.

BRAND NEW SHOWS every Monday at 10:00 am and Wednesday at 2:00 pm or listen ON DEMAND on line anytime.

This week’s episode….Episode #21  (WL-04-25-2015)

A taste of Italy…Amarone,Grappa and Italian cuisine.

The wine we’re talking about hails from the northeastern wine region of Veneto, and this specialty wine, world renown is rich, robust, complex, amazingly delicious… any ideas?It is Amarone della Valpolicella and our first guest, who will be calling in from Veneto.Luca Speri of Speri Viticoltori, a historical wine producing family, in the region of Valpolicella for seven generations.

Undisputedly symbolic of the Speri company, the Amarone Monte Sant’Urbano is a superb example of a fine, classic wine. It is an extraordinary wine with great complexity and a vigorous structure which has always been top for its elegance and quality. To purchase

Luca Speri will lead us through a tasting of four of the Speri Viticoltori

Luca Speri will lead us through a tasting of four of the Speri Viticoltori

Listen to Luca Speri at 6:57 minutes into the show

Bottega SpA Grappa Distillery, Sandro Bottega.

Bottega SpA Grappa Distillery, Sandro Bottega.

We welcome another guest to the show,also calling in from Italy,from Processco, Veneto… and although we’re going to stay within the region of Veneto we’ll  turn our attention away from wine for a little bit and move to a  “trending” refined white spirit housed in glorious artsy glass bottles.
This spirit is called Grappa, and we will be chatting with the founder of the multi generational luxury house of Bottega SpA Grappa Distillery, Sandro Bottega.

Listen to Sandro Bottega at 25:22 minutes into the show

Sandro Bottega Club Grappa

Sandro Bottega Club Grappa

Sandro Bottega Club Grappa

Water white; light floral and fruit aroma; smooth, fruit flavour and crisp warm finish.

$29.40

 
And Finally we welcome Massimo Ronaghi, the proprietor of this award winning restaurant a little later in the show.
Listen to Massimo Ronaghi at 42:00 minutes into the show.

Join us May 13th for “An Evening with Luca Speri”. Spectacular cuisine, incredible wines and an amazing night at the fabulous Alioli Ristorante  in Mississauga,Ontario, this month’s pick for our Fabulous Finds For Foodies.
Luca Speri will lead us through a tasting of four of the Speri Viticoltori

Four delicious Alioli course specialties paired with four iconic Speri wines will make it an evening to remember.
Please see above menu for your reference. 

To RSVP: Please call Alioli Ristorante and tell them The Wine Ladies sent you. Space is limited.Tickets $125.00 each.Taxes and gratuities extra.
(905) 281-1122