About Simone Monciatti
What is your name? Simone Monciatti
What do you do? I’m technical director in Capannelle Winery
Where do you work? In Gaiole in Chianti
What is your favorite product in the company? The vineyards
When did you find out you wanted to go into the business of brewing beer, gin, cheese, wine?
I discovered that I was doing this kind of profession right away, in the sense that you are very young, but in the 1980s we, those of my generation, were the first 16 oenologists that the Agricultural Technical Institute of Oenology, which later became Siena made. So it came about both because of a speculative issue in finding work with a certain speed without going to swell the unemployment lists and so on, and also because of a fairly innate passion more for the viticulture and agronomy aspect than the enology aspect in the first phase.
What do you like most about this profession?
Eh this profession is fantastic! A wonderful profession because you are dealing with nature, and when you are dealing with nature it is always very fulfilling and gives you great satisfaction. And that is one aspect of it. The other aspect is the production aspect, that is, I live the wine from the ‘berry until it arrives in the bottle which is then uncorked also in the presence obviously rightly of customers and so on and so forth and there are really very very interesting phases. And more the intimate satisfaction in the winery when that I can tell you the blending succeeds, rather than one kind of choice of winemaking gave excellent results, rather than the sharing of a general satisfaction like today that you were there. I mean, it’s very nice.
You have seen a change in the last few years in the industry, do you see it as negative or positive?
I have witnessed in recent years the change in the industry. I don’t refer to Covid because obviously it is a variable that had not been considered by anyone. I want to get to 2019. The change has been there, there has been a change in taste, but there has been a cultural change. Wine is no longer a beverage, it’s not as far as I’m concerned, it never was but it’s always been in quotes culture transferred to the wine itself so I’ve always experienced it that way. Lately from this point of view the satisfactions in my opinion are many, the criticalities have increased but this aspect once you coordinate the variables lead you to greater success and satisfaction. Then you can go into the details of changes of various kinds but they are not very interesting I think.
What technical part of the process of making gin, beer, cheese, wine do you like best?
The beginning. The beginning, the vintage choices, the vintage choices give you goosebumps. When I think about it I still get them. The challenge with nature, trying to guess if it rains today, tomorrow it says hail is coming, it’s a constant challenge. The success at the end of fermentation, when racking, is a great libido.
What kind of experience do you want to offer customers when you make your wine?
But … I would like to offer the customer something between the ability to produce in a certain way and the customer’s expectations. One of these changes we were talking about earlier is just that. That is, we manage quite well in recent years, apart from the criticality of Covid, to combine production and then without bending very much with respect to the expectations that the clientele has, because the clientele is very mature.
What are the most important things you were taught to get to where you are now?
There is one very important thing that relates more to the human aspect than to the wine and that is to never use the imperative, but to try to persuade people, your people, in such a way that they do it with their will. They have to be themselves in the production cycle, they have to share with me the satisfactions but also the stressful moments. And this is something that was taught to me by an old mentor of mine who is Dr. Delle Piane, one of the directors of the company, 20 years ago.
What is unique about the environment in which you work? What can you find here that you cannot find elsewhere?
You can find everything here, in the sense that the territory is what it is. We have already talked about it, the environment is that and we have already talked about it. And then I was very lucky because you can’t find a winery that makes five wines, that makes five crus and also sells them at a major price. No, there are no two. Of this size, of course.
What advice would you give to people who want to get into this industry?
Well, the advice is to go right away and learn this trade. Those who want to do it, as I did for years without taking vacations but going to work the vineyards and learn the empathy that comes between you and the vineyard, the plant and so on. And then never forget humility. I am 60 years old and I can guarantee you that even today, when faced with certain issues, in short there is to reason even on a psychological level, you have to be quite still because these are important things.
What do you think could help improve the profession?
Knowledge. Knowledge. Ignorance is scary, by ignorance I mean ignorance even technical ignorance. Knowledge gives you the opportunity to take action and therefore knowledge absolutely.
What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
Well, when I was 35, 40 years old we did some really important things. I was pretty much the only administrator there, and I was going strong. I also had the quote-unquote strength of youth. Today it’s the details. Today it is the detail, still filing if there is a need and working better in those aspects. Everything I was doing when I was in my 30s, 40s really interests me very little, even if we did vineyards, if we did winery, if we built wines, if we fortified Solar, if we made 50 & 50 great. But these things I did, I mean. Here.