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A visit to Jarno Trulli’s vineyard
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A visit to Jarno Trulli’s vineyard
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Aug 2009   |  10:45 am GMT  |  32 comments

I was on holiday in Italy with my family recently and we went to visit Jarno Trulli’s vineyard, Podere Castorani, which is about an hour outside Pescara on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.

JT grapes
The Abruzzo region is Italy’s third most important wine growing region and it has more grapes growing there than there are in the whole of Australia.

I’ve been wanting to go there for years, as a big fan of Italian red wines and particularly Jarno’s. He uses Montepulciano grapes and the wines have a lovely rounded taste.

Jarno’s grandfather was a wine maker and he spent a lot of time with him among the vines when he was a kid. Jarno’s manager Lucio Cavuto is also from a wine making family. Together they bought the estate, which dates back to 1793 and the two families have invested around £5 million into the business and brought it up to the point where they now have 26 different wines in their range. They sell 800,000 bottles a year and are regularly winning prizes around the world. One of their white wines recently won the International Wine Challenge in the UK. Their target is to sell 2 million bottles a year and to be one of the most important winemakers in Italy.

Main house
The estate owns 35 hectares of vines, with another 40 hectares rented from neighbours. They are currently building accommodation, so up to 30 people at a time can stay there. The old house was due to be part of this programme, but it was damaged in the recent earthquake and may have to be totally rebuilt.

Jarno is passionate about his wines and had a hand in developing the premium wine in the range, a full bodied red wine called Jarno. When he gets talking about it you can see his passion and depth of knowledge.

Typical of someone who works in Formula 1, the attention to detail and quest for perfection are clear to see. They use modern versions of the old vertical press system, which is far more time consuming and expensive than the new horizontal presses used by most large scale winemakers, but it means better quality wine and that is what matters to them. Everything is about quality.

They use natural corks and these take 48 hours to settle once the wine has been bottled. In a perfect world you should turn the bottles several times during this period. Most people can’t be bothered, but at Podere Castorani they turn the bottles. It’s that classic F1 mentality of paying attention to the details.

Each of the partners has clear responsibilities; Jarno is in charge of publicity and image. He makes a number of sales trips every year, particularly to the USA and Canada, which is their number one market.

After the visit we all went to a nearby restaurant for lunch, which lasted about 3 hours. Podere Castorani welcomes visitors, so if you find yourself in the area, drop in, take a look around and have a taste.

bottles
JT with barrels
Case
Barrels
JA and JT

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32 Comments
  1. Luke says:

    Looks very impressive! Remember a thing on the vineyard a few years back on the ITV F1 coverage. Looked a stunning place!

  2. Luca says:

    Jarno always comes across as a thoroughly nice guy. And here is the link to his other big idea, Abruzzo nel Cuore — his initiative to help the victims of the recent earthquakes in that part of the world: http://abruzzonelcuore.org/

  3. @munishp says:

    Looks amazing and makes me want to go back to Italy again this year. I think i will have to see if i can make my way to Podere Castorani next time i am over there.

  4. Andrew Hill says:

    Good to see that (some) drivers have a life away from the F1 circus. James too.

    When are we going to see the first full bodied Allen?

  5. Jarno, bring it to the LCBO in Ontario Canada.

    We need better Italian wines. They don’t carry yours yet.

    Do you have a Valpolicella? Or a Chianti?

    1. F1 Kitteh says:

      I see it on the website although not in the stores..

    2. Captain Soviet says:

      John, it is available at the LCBO – just search for the vineyard’s name. For example, here’s one named after Jarno, 2004 vintage: http://lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/details.do?language=EN&itemNumber=111682

      I think there are 3 more varieties available, and while not every store has Jarno’s wine, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

  6. Ninad says:

    WOW!! That looks like an exciting trip!!

  7. niceguyrichy says:

    cool beans :)
    I’d love to visit, bit of a red wine hound myself, but all my traveling budget this year is going on a trip to motoGP in valencia.
    nice to know they use real corks, and treat them right too. there’s plenty room in the world yet for a bit of tradition to remain :)

  8. I would love to try his wine – still looking for it here in Denmark!

  9. Antoine says:

    Red every line with a smile on my face, what can I say,…

    I just luv this blog :-)

  10. Lucio has been working to get this imported here in Colorado and there are hundreds ready to buy once it arrives. Anyone who tastes the wine will not drink another label.

  11. BTW, this wine is so good that U.S. Customs some how ends up with about 3 bottles out of each of my shipments..

    You can get it here:

    http://www.koene.com/

  12. Paul Grinnall says:

    I had a bottle of Trulli wine from the CO-OP in Portishead about two weeks ago.
    It only cost £7 and, although it tasted quite nice, I am wondering: Is there two Trulli vineyards or something?
    I cannot see all this supposed attention to detail, passion and superior wine making allowing the product to hit the shelves of CO-OP at £6.99 a bottle, if it were £35 a bottle in the local Wine Merchants I would assume they were one and the same.
    This bottle of wine did come from Italy, but there was no mention of Jarno on it.

    Here is some spiel on it, wonder if someone is cashing in on the name:

    “Trulli Sangiovese 2006 / Trulli Chardonnay Pinot Grigio 2007 – Italy
    These wines are sourced from Sartori in northern Italy, a family-owned business dating back to 1898 when Pietro Sartori bought a vineyard in Negrar to supply wines for his hotel. Now run by his great-grandchild, Andrea, it still operates from the seventeenth century villa situated beside the winery,

    Trulli Sangiovese 2007
    This 100% Sangiovese from the Veneto region is bright ruby red in colour with spicy and dark fruit aromas on the nose. These morph into classic strawberry and cherry fruits on the palate, supplemented by balanced acidity and a gentle but lingering finish”

    1. James Allen says:

      Paul, that is nothing to do with JT. His vineyard is Podere Castorani, based in Abruzzo.

  13. Michael C says:

    Good commercial James!! My mouth is watering already – but who paid for lunch!!

  14. russ parkin says:

    the flagship Jarno wine is lush and not a bad price, around 30 quid a bottle. but i have tried most and the whoe range is lovely. i work as a wine adviser and i buy this from another company with no staff discount! its that good. averys sell a few check em out!

  15. Werewolf says:

    As with all werewolves, it has to be red … er, unless it’s an F1 car, in which case white will do nicely this year!

  16. Beatrix says:

    Canada, eh? I’ll be looking for a couple of bottles for the weekend then!

  17. Mike Wessel says:

    James don’t know if Jarno will read these comments but he really should bring it to the Vancouver area. Fantastic restaurants, Olympics in six months and people like me who love the Montepulciano wines we tried in Italy two years ago, to die for.

  18. Mike Wessel says:

    and where if available in Vancouver can I find it, I have tried.

    James fantastic blog, just LOVE it!

    1. Mark A. Stephens says:

      Mike,
      the closest to you I know is Ontario:

      Contact Information for Churchill Cellars Ltd:
      468 Queen Street East, 5th Floor
      Toronto, Ontario
      M5A 1T7
      Phone: (416) 368-5108
      Fax: (416) 368-1349

      -Mark

  19. monktonnik says:

    James, I didn’t think that you could be any luckier. I was wrong. You officially have the best job in the world.

    It is interesting that they are focusing on quality, rather than producing a “supermarket” wine which they could really sell with his name. When you think about it, 75 hectares isn’t a lot of land to get back a 5 million euro investment, so I guess they have to consider the premium end of the market, even if they weren’t already commited to this.

    I really want to try this wine!

  20. CJ says:

    OK, YT is a great guy. no question, he cares about his community, with the right machine/conditions he’s a pretty decent F1 driver and he is passionate about wine. I can sign up to all of that. I also rate JA for his informed and impartial commentary on the F1 scene. So why the plug for YT’s commercial interests, surely this is not worthy of james Allen?

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s very cynical, Chris. I admire him for wanting to build something of his own and for planning for the future beyond racing. I have no reason to ‘plug’ his interests.

    2. Werewolf says:

      I guess I would probably admit to being a bit of an F1 purist racing wise, so not altogether open to gossip column-type reporting, although as time goes by I find myself increasingly open to influence if it seems to assist the future of a sport I have loved since I spent my childhood weekends at Brands Hatch when my dad marshalled for the BRSCC. No debris fencing, literally feet, sometimes inches, away from GP cars and World Championship sporstcars; lucky to have seen or lucky to be alive? You decide …

      F1 drivers – and all true racing drivers – are a very special breed that through our all too infrequent access mean phenomenal amounts to us in person when we have the rare opportunity to meet them, especially if that gives us the chance to learn about their psyche in any way. If Jarno is as passionate about wine as I am about my secondary, non-motor racing interest then it is more than worthy of column inches. There is nothing in my life that stirs my soul the way real racing cars do and the people that have mastered them through the years (late Brabham, through Stewart, etc, to Hamilton in terms of ‘heroes’) of my lifetime continue to fascinate. The only real difference I feel between James and I is opportunity.

      That said, James, I’d love to understand what makes Raikkonen tick; your mission, should you accept it …

  21. Caron says:

    You really have such a hard job:-). Thanks for this – a great insight into the world of wine making and into Jarno’s work away from F1.

    Do you know if you can get any of these wines in the UK?

  22. DaveB says:

    I there anywhere a list of retailers that stock it? Or otherwise some websites that supply?

    I’d love to try it and it would also make an nice bit of F1 memorabilia :-)

    1. Mark Stephens says:

      http://www.koene.com stocks the wine. Bob Lucke is a friend of Lucio’s and their customer service is superb. I use them quit often.

  23. Pamela Pomfret says:

    Would love to try his wines, but can not locate a place that stock his wines in Florida. I will get back to Europe one day and hopefully will be able to taste his wines.

  24. Frank says:

    I have tasted some of the wine produced by his vineyard today, and they were all excellent. You should taste it and you will agree. Congratulations to Jarno and his family for this great cépage.

  25. Thomas Snipen says:

    I want to try it, but i cant get it here in Norway :(

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