The Italian wine world salutes one of its most important personalities of all time: Giorgio Grai, one of the greatest oenologists born in Italy and a brotherly friend of people like him who have marked the history of wine and gastronomy in Italy, such as Luigi Veronelli and Gualtiero Marchesi, left at the age of 89 in his home town of Bolzano.
A dean of Italian oenologists, who has always been able to imagine the future, “far-sighted and visionary, was able to anticipate many aspects of today’s oenology by decades, from the enhancement of the longevity of some great Italian wines – especially white – from native grapes, in times when only the most famous red wines of historical areas or the so-called Bordeaux blends enjoyed the attention of most, as we read in the motivation of the award “Luigi Veronelli”. (in 2014), one of the many awards received in his career. Winemaker of great wines, on his own in South Tyrol, and then in Italy and France, working as a consultant extraordinarily capable, rigorous and difficult to manage, unpredictable and brilliant, with many companies (impossible to mention all), which has helped to be known and appreciated by the most demanding consumers. From refined palates like his, with an absolute taste.
“The challenge of wine? “Doing well what we have done wrong for 100 years, stopping neglecting the good we have at home and looking for it outside”, he said in an interview to WineNews a few years ago. Words that are always topical, like those that only the great can say.
A great one to the point of receiving the admiration of colleagues from all over the world, including André Tchelistcheff, perhaps the greatest oenologist of all time and legend in Napa Valley who, it is said, even knelt before Giorgio Grai, as a sign of esteem, affection, respect and friendship. “Our last meeting was in August in Cortina – says the director of WineNews, Alessandro Regoli – where we had a talk about Italian wine and fixed an interview that was held with the … unfortunately “remained in the pen”. An absolute myth of Italian wine passed away”.
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