Thirteen, widely considered an unlucky number, is anything but unlucky with Elena Fucci! Yesterday, Elena and her team received their 13th Tre Bicchieri (3 glasses) Award from the Italian Food and Wine cultural publication, Gambero Rosso. If my math is correct, Elena has won Tre Bicchieri 13 out of the 15 vintages she has been producing wine.
To put this in perspective, there are winemakers all over Italy who produce wine year after year and never even get a mention from the Gambero Rosso. Some might have a good year and receive a one-glass or a two-glass award. But, it’s a rare breed of winemaker who receives the Tre Bicchieri even once in their lifetime. Thirteen times Elena has received Tre Bicchieri!
A few years ago, a wine buyer I work with asked me who Elena consulted with to make her wine. “Her wine is so good. Who is her wine consultant?” he asked. Although I had never heard Elena discuss working with a wine consultant. I owed it to my customer to get an answer. Trying not to insult Elena due to the obvious sexist tone of the question, I asked her as delicately as I could and received this answer. “Brian,” she said, “I do everything. I drive the tractor. I prune the vines. I fertilize. I harvest. I MAKE THE WINE!” In my opinion, she is the wine. Her indomitable spirit carries through to the glass.
Hats off to Elena! She is one of the hardest-working women in the wine industry. She more than deserves this amazing recognition.
(Elena Fucci, Titolo, Aglianico del Vulture DOC is currently available at South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis. www.southlyndale.com )
You can also buy Elena’s olive oil directly from Grand Pere Wines: Elena Fucci, “Titolio”, Extra Virgin Olive Oil