Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
Valentino Ciarla (www.valentinociarla.com) is a passionate oenologist, always traveling around Italy. His base is in Monteﬁridolﬁ in the Chianti Classico region.
Valentino, tell us how you arrived in Chianti.
“I came here to study, and was one of the few fortunate students who studied at Villa Montepaldi, in San Casciano. After I graduated I worked in Liguria and had experiences in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Saint Emilion in France. I then arrived at the Marchesi Antinori wineries. I stopped in Chianti and now i live here”.
Was the world of wine always yours? How did you get started?
“I was “forced to” . I wanted to do something else, but my sister and various cousins were gainfully employed as oenologists. My parents thought it was a good idea to “suggest” (forcefully) that I study at the Istituto Agrario. To tell the truth, I was born in the vineyards and with wine. My grandfather produced and sold wine near Rome. My father continued and increased the work by selling products and consulting local producers. Now, looking around, I realize that DNA is not an opinion”.
What was your training and what do you do today?
“I studied at the Agrarian Institute in Ascoli Piceno, specializing in viticulture and oenology in the sixth year in Siena. Then I got a university diploma with a three year degree in viticulture and oenology at the University of Florence. I was trained on the ﬁeld. I began early at home and at 18 years old I worked in a Swiss wine cellar. My training is still going on. Today I work as a wine consultant for a series of producers, mostly in Tuscany and Chianti. I help them all year around and in every phase of production. Often, I support them in marketing and communications especially with the small companies”.
What is your view of the sector in general? Is it in a healthy state?
“That is a complicated question that we ask ourselves every day. I think that from the outside, wine shines brighter than it actually is. Of course we have to realize that in respect to other areas and the rest of agriculture, especially in Tuscany, there is still the possibility to ”live” off wine. However, it is affected by the general economic situation in the world and all of the mechanisms of the Italian system”.
Can you tell us which wines have a good future according to you?
“I think that the grand denominations of Tuscany… Brunello Di Montalcino and Chianti Classico above all, have a tradition that allows them to look ahead. Then, in addition to a forecast and a wish, I would bet on the autochthonous vines (in Tuscany and elsewhere) and on all aspects that allow them to be tied to the territory that grows it. I am convinced of this; with a product of elevated quality, you have a unique card to play on an always more global market”.
Finally, how do you view Chianti Classico and its wines?
“I like Chianti Classico, as a wine and as a territory. I like it very much and believe that it has all the potential to view the future in a positive manner. I believe that it is necessary, speaking about wine, to think of it, as we are doing, as a serious
zonation in a territory that is so vast and varied. There shouldn’t be a division between zones and producers. They should help each other to valorize the wine in the best way possible… together. The many Chianti Classico wines… of the Chianti Classico territory”.