An Interview with Matilde Poggi of Le Fraghe, Veneto, Italy

August 2016

Matilde Poggi is the woman behind the winery Le Fraghe on the right river of the Garda Lake in the region of Veneto, Italy. She is the mother of three children and the president of FIVI, the Federation of Independent Winegrowers in Italy. She was also one of the first Italian wine producers to use a screw cap. In other words, a strong woman with a sensitive character. Text by Åsa Johansson

What made you take over the family farm and dedicate yourself to wine production? 
My father was just giving the farm´s grapes to his brother. I wanted to challenge myself by starting to take care of the wine production and making my own wine with my own label. 
You produced your first vintage in 1984, what is the most important lesson about wine production that you learnt with time? 
First of all that wine is a very slow business. Every year is different with a different climate and that means different grapes.  My 31 harvests has brought me to understand that you need a lot of patience to make your own experience. I also learnt that my favourite grape, Corvina, is very delicate to work with.

Which part of your work do you enjoy most?  
Without any doubts the wine making process. 

Which are the biggest challenges for a producer in Bardolino? 
To let people know that although Bardolino is a young, fresh and an easy to drink wine it is still an important wine. Being an easy wine does not mean being a stupid wine. 

You are also the president of the organisation of FIVI (The Federation of Independent Winegrowers in Italy): what is the most important goal you want to achieve right now?  
Since the very early beginning, we are fighting against bureaucracy, which takes the same amount of hours in a very small winery as in a big one. This is not correct, we want to spend our time in the vineyards and in the cellar and not in our offices to fill out papers.

You were one of the first producers in Italy to start experimenting with screw caps. How were the reactions in the beginning?
In the beginning it was not easy. At the start in 2008, using screw caps meant that Italian restaurants were not so familiar with them and reacted negatively. Today I bottle the whole production of the white wine Garganega Camporengo and the Chiaretto with only screw cap. Bottling the whole production with screw cap made things easier as people did not have any choice to get the wine with another closure. 

What would you like your customers to feel when they drink your wine?  
I would like them to feel what I am looking for when I make the wine: a wine that is very easy to drink and very much connected to the area where it comes from. 

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