Drink Like a Girl: The Feminine Side of Ferghettina Winery
Laura Gatti is no stranger to the wine business. Winemaking has been a constant in her life since she was a little girl and to this day, she works alongside her brother in the family business of crafting beautiful wines with a true sense of place in Franciacorta. We were fortunate enough to speak with her recently about her lifelong experience in the wine industry and to gain a better understanding of what makes Ferghettina wines
How did you get your start in the wine business?
I grew up in a winery. My father has always worked with a lot of passion and I used to follow him around. When I finished my studies it was quite natural for me to continue to work with him in the winemaking business.
Is there anyone in particular who has most influenced your career in winemaking?
My father, absolutely!
What is your favorite part of the winemaking process and why?
I love to be outside in the vineyards. It’s amazing to follow the growth of the grapes, to see the differences between the vineyards and to perceive the uniqueness and personality of the different parcels coming from nature. The most wonderful part of my job is to allow the grapes to give the best expression of the combination of soil and grape varietal. During the winemaking process, our goal is to allow these features to reach their maximum level of expression.
Have you ever considered a career outside of the wine industry?
What difficulties or advantages do you feel you have as a woman in a male-dominated industry?
Sometimes it’s not easy but in the last few years I’ve noticed more and more women working in this business. I think that the most important thing is to do your best every day. Working this way makes it easier to find your place.
We noticed that some of your wines utilize a unique bottle shape with a square base. Where did this design come from and why did you decide to use it?
Yes, we currently sell three wines in the square-based bottle: Franciacorta Milledì, Franciacorta Rosè and Franciacorta Saten. We just started bottling the Saten this way in April and it will soon be available in the US market.
This unique bottle shape was invented by my brother Matteo. He did his university thesis studying the different characteristics of wines aged on lees in a regular round bottle versus in the square-based one. Thanks to the square base, the bottles have flat sides. We store all the bottles horizontally at the winery so after the fermentation, the yeasts are able to spread out on the flat side of the bottle. This surface area is two and a half times bigger than that of a round bottle. Because of this, the wines become more complex. So, although we really like the esthetics of the square bottle shape, the reason we use it is mainly a technical one.
What do you enjoy most about working alongside your brother?
Working with my brother is very nice because we are able to share all of our projects and ideas. I’m really lucky!
What do you feel makes Franciacorta (and Ferghettina) wines so special?
It’s not easy to answer this question. We work very hard each and every day to do our best. We are interpreters of a land and of her personality and we simply hope that the customer can feel this philosophy in our wines.
If you had to choose one favorite grape varietal, what would it be and why?
I love pinot noir. It really needs to find a perfect place in order to grow and is very demanding, but it can give amazing results. It is also challenging to make a good point noir and I love to do it!