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.

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about Bolgheri terroir

Bolgheri could never have been anything but a dream come true: putting down roots in a famous land that gives its heart and soul to great wines that are capable of capturing the enthusiasm of a cosmopolitan audience.

We approached it slowly, step-by-step, with our personal experience of what we had previously only heard about leading to new sensations, curiosity, a greater understanding, a sense of wonder, and finally, a solid project of our own: Poggio al Tesoro. The exceptional value of the area, combined with our experience, made the promise demonstrated by Poggio al Tesoro into a reality: we offer wines with a strong identity, complex and powerful, yet elegant and profound. Thus, in just a few years but after much hard work, around 70 hectares in the Bolgheri area became Poggio al Tesoro.

Poggio al Tesoro owes much to the incredible foresight of Walter Allegrini, the Valpolicella winemaker whose love for Bolgheri was the inspiration for the move to Tuscany. Having been personally involved in driving the family wine business for his entire working life, Walter instinctively understood the importance of a territory whose peculiar nature could be enhanced and exploited further. When buying the holdings that currently make up the estate, he chose plots that were close to the sea and others that were higher up in the hills, aiming for a diversification of terroirs and crops.

Right from the very beginning, he embodied the driving force that fitted our profile for winemakers: a search for the unique. We found what we were looking for in four plots that are characteristic of the area; combined, they could reveal its specific nature, standing out as original facets of a single, great terroir. The 70 hectares of the Poggio al Tesoro estate are located in an area to the east of the hills of Castagneto Carducci covered by typical Mediterranean vegetation, with a prevalence of cork oaks, strawberry trees, and stone and maritime pines. One of the main tasks was a preliminary study of the land and the climate, which allowed vines to be planted that would adapt best to the specific local conditions. The planted area is currently made up of four separate plots: two along via Bolgherese, the largest close to the sea at Le Sondraie, and the fourth in Bibbona.

For the planting of the estate’s vines, which began in 2003, the choice of grape varieties and rootstocks was greatly influenced by the characteristics of the soil and the environment in the various zones of Poggio al Tesoro. The terroirs of rocky sands were chosen to cultivate grapes that deliver concentration and power, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and in particular Cabernet Franc, whereas the more mineral-rich clay terroirs were planted with grapes such as Merlot, which can provide elegance, aroma and harmony.
The grape varieties available
in Bolgheri
Poggio al Tesoro