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Valentino Ciarla – The Vision of an Oenologist at WinesOfItaly

WinesOfItaly LiveStream with Valentino Ciarla as guest

At WinesOfItaly LiveStream on November 15th, my guest was oenologist Valentino Ciarla. Valentino comes from a family in Lazio with a long tradition as vine growers and winemakers. He studied enology at the University of Florence and then worked around Italy as well as abroad, for example in South Africa and in France, to gain experience. He also worked for Antinori for three years after that. Since 2004, he is working on his own as a consulting winemaker and oenologist for about 25 different wineries, mainly in Tuscany. Valentino Ciarla belongs to the Matura Group, which is a group of 9 oenologists in Italy who support, share knowledge and experience with each other. Some of the oenologists in the Matura group also cover wineries in other parts of the world.

The First Approach with a Winery is Human

Valentino talks about how you need to show your human side and that you cannot hide anything because you need to show who you are in order to be able to build a good working relationship with a winery. Thus, according to him, the most important part is to be human and then afterward you can enter into more technical discussions. When I was listening to Valentino saying ‘human’ several times that Tuesday during our #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream, I could not help thinking directly of Bryan Kramer and his #H2HChat where there’s a huge applause sounding when the guest on the show says the word ‘human’. Bryan Kramer launched the concept Human to Human (#H2H) in early 2014, meaning that the approach in marketing nowadays needs to be human to human. In the world of wine and enology, it seems just as important to have a human approach in order to succeed.

[ctt title=”‘You need to show your human side as an oenologist’, says @valentinociarla” tweet=”‘You need to show your human side as an oenologist’, says @valentinociarla via @ricasoli99″ coverup=”14Hf8″]

During this talk with Valentino, we discussed everything from how he plans his work, his favorite grape, to how he believes the harvest is the most important period and thus focus a lot of his work on that.

Planning the work week or month can be difficult sometimes according to Valentino. This is because he believes that you need to be flexible and able to rearrange your schedules on very short notice in order to give help where it is needed. Especially during the harvest time, he stressed that he works from week to week, without any long-term planning.

His favorite grape, which came up in a question from one of the listeners is, on the one hand, Sangiovese, of course, as he mainly works in Tuscany and earns his daily bread from that grape. He considers it to be a grape that is not always easy to work with but very enjoyable to drink. Another favorite of his is the Syrah grape.

During the harvest period, he spends most of his time in the vineyards. This is because he is of the belief that when you cut a bunch and pick the grapes you have already done 90% of the choice you can make. The quality comes from the vineyards, as you need good grapes in order to produce a high-quality wine.

To learn more about Valentino’s work as an oenologist and how he looks upon the work in the vineyards and the winery, listen to the live stream below.

Would you like to get the latest news about the next live streams, feel free to sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar at this page.

Written by Katarina Andersson.

Katarina Andersson

Seen often at wine events streaming live, Katarina is a wine writer, wine educator, social media strategist, and translator. She is the founder of WinesOfItaly LiveStream. She has been a guest at The Cellar, hosted by Richard Glover, at Wine Two Five, a podcast hosted by Stephanie Davis and Valerie Caruso, and at the Twitter chat #WiningHourChat founded by Li Valentine.

18 thoughts on “Valentino Ciarla – The Vision of an Oenologist at WinesOfItaly”

  1. I remember going to a wine tasting some time ago and the winemeister (I just made up that word because I forgot what they are really called – forgive me, the one who gives the presentation) but he took us on a story journey with history of the people stomping the grapes. It has stayed with me and enriches not only of my moments of reflection when drinking any wine but when eating or dong other things too. The human behind the experience. Very nice.

  2. More and more I read about the importance of H2H in marketing, business, and relationships. But I was surprised to see the concept mentioned when discussing a winery! I love this quote “you need to show who you are in order to be able to build a good working relationship with a winery”–it’s nearly true of all things these days. It seems societies made a big swing toward industrialization and manufacturing, which removed a human element. Now many of us long for more meaningful connections, human traditions, and a return to more natural ways of doing things. Wonderful article!

  3. I love that he mentioned, to be honest with others to create healthy relationships. This tip is good advice for all businesses. Thank you for sharing this live interview.

  4. Love, love, love this! Yes, human to human is so needed in every aspect of our lives these days and how wonderful to hear how vintners are starting with our humanity first before they even consider the wine aspect. I can only imagine that this is felt and tasted in the wines of those who put the human first. Thanks for sharing this, as now I can support wines (as gifts, as I don’t drink) from wineries who ascribe to this.

  5. You are my Go To place to look for any wine information i need ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve also learned a new word today – Oneologist. Never before heard of it.

  6. As you noted, or rather he noted, there is a lot of planning going on at a winery and if you don’t, you spend a heck of a lot of time for a not so plentiful product… a good reminder to us all.

  7. I like what your guest said about “being human. That is absolutely true in any endeavor including business. There shuld be a human aspect. That is the reason why do do all of these social media engagements to reach out to the people we serve.

    Happy Holidays!

  8. I love the part where his favorite grape “… is not always easy to work with but very enjoyable to drink.” There are so many ways to think about life and business in the same way. Of course, this should be done with a fine wine in hand.


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