20 August 2022
Cinzia Travaglini, great-granddaughter of Clemente Travaglini, and her daughters Alessia and Carolina run the 100-year-old icon of winemaking in Gattinara.
The world of wine resembles a men’s club at times, especially in Italy. There are numerous stories of grandfathers passing down their legacy to their sons who, in turn, handed the tradition over to the men of the family. But things are changing rapidly: the industry is witnessing a revolution in which women are now in charge of wineries, ridding themselves of the bias that wine is for men alone.
Travaglini, the most important winery in Gattinara, is an excellent example. After three “male” generations, the winery is now led by Cinzia Travaglini with her husband Massimo and their daughters Alessia and Carolina, who represent the fifth generation of the family.
A SECULAR HISTORY
The history of Travaglini started in the 1920s, when Clemente Travaglini and then his son Arturo began vinifying grapes from their small vineyards. Their fiery passion promoted Gattinara, which was risking extinction following a devastating hailstorm in the early 900s.
Clemente and Arturo were succeeded by Giancarlo Travaglini, Cinzia’s father. At the end of the 1950s, he devoted his life in bringing Gattinara back to its former glory, honoring the effort and love that his grandfather and father had for this territory.
It is said that Giancarlo made a bet with fate: he was the first to introduce Guyot training in Gattinara, selecting the buds and carrying out thinning operations. This earned him a certain reputation: «crazy», they called him. But he turned out to be the wisest of them all and Gattinara is what it is today thanks to Giancarlo’s “craziness”.
The Travaglini family has maintained such determination up until present: Cinzia, her husband Massimo, and daughters Alessia and Carolina have been working on an ambitious project involving the expansion and parcellation of their vineyards. With its 60 hectares, Travaglini is the largest winery in Gattinara, covering more than half of the total vineyard of the denomination. A heritage that the “women of Gattinara” have decided to enhance by recovering areas that were formerly part of the forest, such as the zone between Ronchi and Valferana. And also by separately vinifying “family” crus, in order for Gattinara to clearly unveil the peculiar traits present in the different areas.