Estates


​Marilisa Allegrini is undoubtedly one of the Italian wine industry’s most important ambassadors. This is thanks to the quality and spirit of her wines, which have played a major part in the consolidation of Amarone’s international reputation, but also to the determination and charm of this beautiful woman. In a class of her own, she is fully prepared to follow her instincts, and her sharp entrepreneurial acumen has driven the exponential growth of the family-run company. She demonstrates the ideal combination of vision and nous, partly inherited from her father, the great Giovanni Allegrini, one of the outstanding characters of the Valpolicella region and a shrewd innovator, who laid the foundation stones for this amazing entrepreneurial story. Since Giovanni’s death in 1983, Marilisa has not only been the public face but also the soul of the company, together with her oenologist brother Franco. Marilisa was born and brought up in Verona. Although the wine industry was her destiny, after high school she dedicated herself to medicine, working as a physiotherapist in the city’s hospital for a number of years. From 1979 onwards, however, she chose to bow to family tradition and enter the management of the business alongside her father Giovanni. She had a real hunger for travel, and wanted to demonstrate her entrepreneurial skills by bringing Valpolicella to the world’s attention. It didn’t take long. In 1983, just a few short months after the passing of her much-loved father, she made her first foreign business trip, to Zurich. The real turning point, however, was just around the corner. Indeed, a few weeks later she went to the United States, to New York, Boston and Chicago. In a few short weeks she visited all of the leading East Coast liquor chains, as she believed in order for a great wine such as Amarone to fulfil its potential it had to make its name in the US. It proved to be an inspired move – after a month and a half an order for 200,000 cases was received from across the Atlantic. This was just the beginning: in no time, thanks to Marilisa’s constant global travel powered by a combination of a true businesswoman’s passion and determination, the company’s turnover doubled, reaching one billion lire in 1990. In 2002, she decided to invest in the Poggio al Tesoro estate in Bolgheri, an outstanding terroir home to the Super Tuscan wines. In 2007 she turned her attention to Montalcino, with the purchase of San Polo fulfilling a dream: the creation of a glorious trinity that embodies the excellence of Italian wine production: Amarone, Bolgheri and Brunello di Montalcino. Marilisa currently divides her time between Verona and New York, which has been her adopted home town for a number of years now.

> Discover more
about Amarone - La Grola terroir
The Allegrini family has played a leading role in the history of the village of Fumane and the whole Valpolicella region since the 16th Century, and has successfully handed down the traditional secrets of vines and wine-growing from generation to generation. Legal records from the time reveal that the family already played a prominent role in the local community and was one of the most important landholders in the area, working in agriculture and establishing the tradition of wine production. The Villa della Torre, with its Renaissance stuccos and historical park that was developed in harmony with the surrounding countryside, is the present-day symbol of this noble past. The construction, which was completed in its entirety in around 1560, was largely conceived by Giulio della Torre, a cultured intellectual and humanist who moved in the highest social, political and religious circles. There are various theories about the architectural authorship of the villa, which Fumane villagers still refer to as “el palasso” (the palace): significant inspiration was certainly taken from the schools of some of the greats, such as Giulio Romano, architect of the Gonzaga family’s Palazzo Te in Mantua, Michele Sanmicheli and Bartolomeo Ridolfi, as well as Giulio della Torre himself. The artistic versatility, great taste and stylistic consistency were recognised and appreciated by the cultural society of the age. The originality of this precious building lies entirely in its conception: not only is it a country residence designed for the management of the estate’s agricultural activity, it is also a peaceful retreat that allows the restoration of body and soul, in accordance with the precepts of the Latin writers so greatly loved by Italian humanists. The Allegrini company in the form we see it today owes everything to the intelligence and industry of Giovanni Allegrini, a highly spontaneous man of simple tastes who’s life’s work was dedicated to the creation of a solid, efficient and innovative agricultural company. He began his working life at a very young age, and perfected the art of wine-making through great natural ability and an engaging passion. He earned the descriptive nickname of “the spider among the barrels”: in his cellar he was proud to let visitors taste his wines, jumping from one precious barrel to the next based on their views and impressions. Giovanni’s lifestyle, history and culture remain the key to understanding the philosophy underpinning the Allegrini success story. He was responsible for numerous ground-breaking innovations, including the use of barriques along with traditional Slavonian oak barrels, while also reducing the aging of the wine in order to retain the flavour and aroma of the fruit; substantial changes to the appassimento (drying) method, which led to the conceptualisation and creation of “Terre di Fumane”, the crowning glory of the Valpolicella wine industry; experimentation with the exclusive use of Corvina grape, the variety that is most representative of the region and also one of the most interesting of those native to Italy. Over time he also gradually introduced important innovations to the vines, with the introduction of Guyot systems to replace the traditional Valpolicella trellis system, allowing for an increase in planting density. All of these innovations, along with numerous others, prove that Giovanni Allegrini was a man ahead of his time, who made a decisive contribution to the image of the Valpolicella region. After he passed away in 1983, his children took on his mantle, looking after the company and building on its potential. The incredible foresight shown in operational decisions has allowed Allegrini to become a point of reference as one of Italy’s most prestigious wine companies.
The grape varieties available
in Amarone - La Grola