I’ve been thinking about the Veneto this week thanks to an outstanding virtual event held by the Consorzio in Valpolicella, a discussion about Amarone tonight on Clubhouse and my rising desire to visit Italy again, after a year of abstinence from Italy, certainly not from wine. I did this story with Matilde four years about but I wanted to repost our conversation. I met Matilde Poggi from Le Fraghe at the Slow Wine tasting back in 2017. I was really impressed with her wines and wanted to find out more about her. These are her answers to some questions that I emailed her about her winery and her winemaking. I found her wines all very clean and intriguing. People, myself included, often don’t take Bardolino seriously enough. Made from Corvina and Rondinella, this wine proved very interesting and food friendly. Meeting Matilde made me want to learn more.
1.Tell me about Le Fraghe and your family history?
I began to vinify my father’s grapes in 1984. Till that year the grapes were given to my uncle who has another winery
2. How did you get into the wine business?
It is something I grew up with as the winery was in the family since 1960s. as a child I liked so much the seasons’ cycle and imagined the vines going to sleep after the harvest and waking up in spring and growing in summer time. I wanted to meet the challenges of this world.
3.What has been the hardest part of the wine business for you in terms of gender issues, if any?
In 1980s many people were surprised as they thought that wine was a male business. There were not so many women making wines, now it is much more common. I have to say that sometimes I felt people were not trusting me being a woman. I guess that this impression is shared by women in many other businesses
4.What trends and changes have you seen since you started? What do you see happening in the next 5-10 years in your sector of the business?
Since I started there are many more small producers compared to 1980s. People are more sensible to artisanal, organic and sustainable wines. I believe that this trend will go on in the next years too. In the next years I think that there will be consumers groups: one side people drinking wine as a commodity, no matter where it comes from and, in the more educated countries, people looking much more for indigenous grapes made from artisanal winegrowers
5.What do you see happening in the Italian wine world in the coming years?
I think that there will be more attention for artisanal, organic, natural wines coming from indigenous grapes. I think that there will be more and more direct contact with businesses, people like to know where the wine is made and who is the winemaker.
6.Are people interested in different varietals? International varietals?
I believe that there is a bigger interest for indigenous grapes
7.What wines from the Veneto that are truly interesting to people these days (as you see from tourists visiting you?)
People coming visiting mostly look for Chiaretto, my rosè.
8. What do you think about the level of wine education in general and about wines from your area in particular?
Not so many people are highly educated in wine, too many look just for wines which are trendy. Wines of our area are known but sometimes not so well known as Bardolino is often considered an easy drinking wine and few people give it the consideration it deserves
9. Where are women going to be in the industry in the next 10 years?
Many women decide to study enology, I guess that there will be more women engaged in the winemaking processes
10. What secrets can you share about pairing your wines with food?
I like serving Bardolino slightly chilled, pairing fresh water fish as well.
11. What is going on with sustainability in your area?
I turned to organic in 2009, not many producers were organic at that time. Now it is becoming more popular, winegrowers understand that we are the first to make something for a better environment.