With 500 years of winemaking history in his blood, it is no wonder Count Giovanni Bonmartini Fini is passionate about his role at the helm of the Barone Fini.
The family winery, located in the most northern part of the Italian Alps, specializes in pinot grigio. Originally from Venice, the Bonmartini family has records of making wine going back to 1497. (They were even given titles by both the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Knights Templar.) We’re talking about as historic as wine gets by and large.
In 2013, the winery produced more than 100,000 cases of wine, most of which was their pinot grigio which sells in the U.S. for about $11 a bottle. (Find it here.) To spend five hundred years making anything, let alone wine, means that you have to be pretty darn passionate about what makes your wine unique. So, in this exclusive interview, we asked the Count himself what keeps his “passion for pinot [grigio]” alive.
CGBF: Pinot Grigio is a wonderfully special grape because it’s incredibly versatile with food, and it has an exquisite ability to allow you to taste delicate or even robust foods better.
DS: How would you characterize the personality of pinot grigio?
CGBF: Pinot Grigio is the grape of love. When we celebrate love, we celebrate happiness with a feast. Pinot Grigio is a happy wine that shows its greatest respect for the character and subtleties of what we eat during our celebration.
DS: What's your philosophy of wine drinking?
CGBF: That wine is food. When we buy tomatoes, we want the ripest, best quality that tastes the best. We should do the same when looking for a pinot grigio.
DS: When not drinking Barone Fini wine, what do you drink?
CGBF: I love all wines. I especially enjoy naturally produced wine that allows you to taste the terroir where they are from. I love bubbles, whites, reds, sweet and dry. Every wine has its place and enjoying life is being able to taste as many different wines as possible.
DS: What's special about the region in which your wine is produced?
CGBF: We believe nature makes the best wine. The only human intervention in our wines is controlling the temperature during fermentation. Our region is incredibly beautiful. We believe that wine is an agricultural product and our Barone Fini Pinot Grigio reflects the pristine nature of the mountains in its crystalline, pure, crisp finish.
Photo Credit: Acevola.