Arquilla Wines

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The island project giving detainees a second chance.

Last year, Lamberto Frescobaldi, 30th generation of the Marchesi de'Frescobaldi wine dynasty, revealed the humanitarian side of his company. Over the Summer, Frescobaldi attended a mid-security jail on the remote Italian island of Gorgona, helping the detainees learn how to make wine. Part of a wider plan, this program also sees residents grow vegetables, create cheeses and now, make wine, equipping them with the necessary skills they need to re-enter the labour force once their sentence is complete.

Following this initial venture, fresh reports have emerged about the ongoing status of the program. The New York Times recently reported on this unique wine and its unconventional winemakers. The blend of vermentino and ansonica was praised as being "fruity and floral with a textured finish, thanks to a touch of oak". The Times also notes that of the relatively small quantity of 2,700 produced by the inmates, 1,000 will be sold in the United States. In justifying the price of $95 a bottle to his US audience, Lamberto Frescobaldi said, "we want people to think about what they are buying and drinking. It's not just another glass of wine".

Frescobaldi is not alone in his belief about the importance of the program after recently being received by the President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, to outline the initial wine production results of the Gorgona social project. To mark the occasion, Frescobaldi presented the President with a Magnum of Gorgona wine, a generous gift considering the limited quantities produced.

There are great expectations for the 2014 harvest as the wine world watches this intriguing story unfold.