Gorgona

Gorgona | The Story behind the wine

Finally, “Alcatraz” was a super spreader center for infection. That had to close because of wetness, fungus and various wild virus stuff, that attacked the prisoners and prison staff.

Compared to the most famous prison island “Alcatraz” (closed in 1963). This prison island of “Gorgona” is still in operation and is home for 90-120 wine growing prisoners. Prison staff plus inmagtes about 300 people. “… that makes almost one watchdog for each inmate.

extreme contrasts | difficult vibes

Marchesi Lomberto de Frescobaldi invited me summer 2017 for a short press trip to Tuscany. To reflect my impressions about this controverse disgusst project in a Blog article. So it comes, that I spend 2017 one very hot summerday on Gorgona Prison-Island. Here are my impressions about this extra ordinary trip. Feel welcome to read my Gorgona Story and here we start!

Gorgona is an Italian-Mediterranean island, and the smallest island of the Tuscan Archipelago in the region of Tuscany. It is located in the Ligurian Sea, 35 km from the port of Livorno. The vibes on the island is difficult to describe. Gorgona is visually a colorful paradise island with agriculture and animal farming. 

Confrontation with extremes

Moving around here on this island means being faced with the visual and unvisual extremes between paradise beauty and oppressive solitude and captivity. The island is 2.23 km² in size. It has been home to an agricultural penitentiary since 1869. The island is mountainous, up to 225 m, and covered with pine trees.

“Créme de la Crème” | most wanted prisoners of Italy

Almost as tall as the inmates in their criminal records. The Gorgona residents are the “Créme de la Crème” of the worst prisoners of Italy. Gorgona the inmates, might found a small place on earth for a chance of bit peace and freedom. Maybe for some, for the first time in life?


Wine @Gorgona | Island Wine | Italy-Tuscany

Paradise Island and prison | … how does that fit together?

Winegrowing on the island of Gorgona has been an important economic factor since 2013. Frescobaldi/ Marchesi de Frescobaldi dared the balancing act in 2015. And produced the Gorgona-Wine for the first time. A white wine that could not be more elaborate. Gorgona offers not only a top story of the wine, there is also an outstanding and perfect marketing behind it. Sustainability in production and artwork justify this high-end wine of its equal addiction.

The Royal House Frescobaldi led by Marchese Leonardo Frescobaldi and managed by Marchese Lomberto Frescobaldi is aware of its task and responsibility and has been acting exemplary for more than 700 years. The family has always tried to develop and celebrate the diversity of the Tuscan terroir.


Wine Tasting | Gorgona Wine 2016 | Only 2.700 bottles each year | about 89,- Euro / 1,5 Liter Magnum

Cuvée Vermentino and Ansonica (Inzolia) grapes. White wine, with a nice straw-yellow color and good texture, yet with enough acidity and freshness, with exuberant notes of exotic fruits, camomile blossoms and nuts, with a splendid long finish.

When I have to be honest, I do like the story behind the wine more than the tast of it. Because I prefer redwine from tuscany. Almost 90,- Euro for an everyday white wine feels quiet expensive. I call it: … an exclusive white wine for special moments with a very special story behind the wine.

*My insider recommendations is Laudemio olive oil by Frescobaldi

*My favourite wine 2009 Mormoreto marchesi de frescobaldi castello nipozzano tuscany igp


Impressions | reflection

Marchese Leonardo responds to my question of payment. The Italian state considers the sponsorship of the prisoners to be very positive, the Marchese explained.

“… Every prisoner is justly rewarded for his work”

Furthermore, Frescobaldi gives each inmate who is involved in the production of the wine a wine grower certificate, which resembles a training certificate, to recommend themselves after the prison period. There are already some inmate who has entered a job at Frescobaldi winery after the prison sentence on Gorgona Island.

Batin Mumcu - www.berlinerweinpilot.d
Gorgona Prison Area | Foto: Batin Mumcu

„Gorgona also has a very important educational factor that is not to be underestimated”

Among the inmates I have seen some young teenage men, who are relocated as a deterrent to the island, and get a last chance, to be shaken awake, to avoid a long term prison career.

Here are the heavy guys in an exclusive men’s board

This island with its educational resocialisation prison project and its inhabitants is unique. Here are the heavy guys in an exclusive men’s board. People here are already dead, or at least a multiple killer with an extraordinary criminal record that scares all other Italian prisons.

Batin Mumcu - www.berlinerweinpilot.d
Vinyard Mountain Top of Gorgona Prison Island | Foto: Batin Mumcu

Final Statement | Batin Mumcu

Good to know | The Italian Government and Frescobaldi as an employer have not given up the people!

Maybe for some prisoners that I have met during my short trip. Gorgona seems like a real paradise in life and a good place to resist the temptations in the “real world”. Finally they found somehow peace, harmony in combination with nature and like-minded. The prison staff on Gorgona Island, I do also think about, they spend daily live on the island at the sea and cannot really follow a normal life with afterwork, friends and family.

Batin Mumcu - www.berlinerweinpilot.de
Backview to Gorgona Island | Foto: Batin Mumcu | www.berlinerweinpilot.de

Time will tell | For me as an “oneday-visitor”, Gorgona Island as a Prison is an unique and special project. A big toppic for many discussions in all directions. I was allowed to participate. I feel thankful for the opportunity to experience such an interesting Story behind a Wine!

Mille Grazie | #millegrazie #gorgonaisland #prisonisland #tuscany #italy #frescobaldivini #storybehindawine


Batin Mumcu | Reise Dokumentation | Gorgona 2017 | www.berlinerweinpilot.de 

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