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Il Paradiso di Frassina

This innovative, experimental winery treated with ‘music therapy’, utilizing the sounds of Mozart to assist the vines in the creation of premium quality fruit, is the result of Giancarlo Cognozzi’s avid passion for music and wine.

Cignozzi’s involvement in Tuscany’s Montalcino area began in 1968. During the 70’s  he helped successful wineries like Altesino and Case Basse establish themselves and created Tenuta di Caparzo, which he co-owned until 1998. A Milan-based lawyer, Cignozzi was not only a wine producer but, as legal adivsor to the Brunello Consorzio, he made significant contributions to area.

After selling Caparzo in 1998, he wanted to develop his own project and, in the year 2000, he found and purchased Il Paradiso di Frassina, a property at the foot of the Montosoli hill, 5 km north of Montalcino, which had been abandoned since the war. It took nearly two years to restore the farm, its cellar and fermenting tanks and to establish from scratch a Sangiovese vineyard, now totaling approx 6 hectares, all certified organic.

At the same time he acquired another piece of land in the Maremma (approx 6 hectares): half of this splendid site was planted with exactly 12 different grape varieties (‘uve’ in Italian) for the production of the namesake wine.

Always an avid music aficionado, Giancarlo was convinced that sound was capable of having a curative effects and, out of his own pocket, he planted loudspeakers around the vineyards and played music to the vines. Fortuitously, around the same time, the Universities of Florence and Pisa began investigating the effect of musical sound waves on plants (plants in general, not just vines) and it was not too long before they approached him to further this scientific research. Initial results suggest that music augments both leaf and fruit growth, promotes earlier ripening, protects against pests (hence no chemicals need to be used). Il Paradiso di Frassina soon became the center of persistent media attention.

In 2005, no less than Amar Bose himself, the Indian-born ‘guru of sound’, founder of the homonymous Bose Corporation, came to leave his unmistakable imprint at Il Paradiso. Bose, who was personally and genuinely interested in the research, provided 80 all-weather, outdoor speakers free-of-charge and donated $100,000 each to the Universities of Florence and Pisa to continue this research. The loudspeakers are scattered throughout the vineyards (some even underground) and in the cellar and play music around the clock. In 2008, University researchers suggested that only the music of Mozart should be played, providing a single, unique musical blanket to the vines.

Made in a traditional style by Cignozzi himself and young winemaker Federico Ricci, these wines are delicious, compelling, and crafted with no tolerance for anything other than perfection.

Learn more at www.alparadisodifrassina.it

Watch the Video: Il Paradiso di Frassina featured on CBS NEWS