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Chiara Boschis: First Lady of Barolo @winestories

Chiara VignaChiara Boschis in her family’s vineyards.  Photo by Mauro Fermariello

My favorite Italian wine writer to follow is Mauro Fermariello.  His website, Winestories, is a passionate and carefully curated collection of just that: Wine Stories. Recently he posted his experience with Chiara Boschis, along with this lovely quote from the First Lady of Barolo herself:

 “From my generation in Barolo, I was the first woman to really direct a winery.  Now it is normal for girls to work in the wineries, but even in the early ’90’s I was an exception to the rule.  The women of the Langhe have always been the strongest links of the families, occupying themselves in all aspects of family affairs, even sometimes financially; all too often the men wasted their money in a night of card games.  Women were also valuable in the vineyards- capable and fast.  Eventually there were women who dedicated themselves to public relations, administration and sometimes sales; but in the cellar, no, I was the only one.

Cannubi

Cannubi 2007, photo by Mauro Fermariello.

We lovingly refer to Chiara as the ‘First Lady of Barolo”.  Now you understand why.  It’s easy to take the status quo for granted- today it is common for women to make wine, own wineries, inherit family estates, and complete an education in oenology. However if you go back 50 or 60 years, this was not the case.  Traditional gender roles in Italy (and elsewhere) would have prevented this possibility.

Cannubi Vigna

Chiara Boschis’ vineyards, Photo by Mauro Fermariello.

Somebody had to break the mold, and forge a new definition of “normal”.  Thank you, Chiara Boschis, for your bravery, your fortitude and your unique ability to change the whole world, even just a little bit, for the better.

Bravissima, Prima Donna del Barolo!

*See the whole article, with interview (in Italian): http://www.winestories.it/chiara-boschis/

 

8 Comments

  1. Great that you promoted Mauro’s excellent piece on Chiara. This wonderful woman, full of life, is a cornerstone of my book on Piemonte women.

    I particularly like your closing comments:

    “Somebody had to break the mold, and forge a new definition of “normal”. Thank you, Chiara Boschis, for your bravery, your fortitude and your unique ability to change the whole world, even just a little bit, for the better.”

    • Thanks Suzanne! I need to find a copy of your book! Chiara’s wines have always “spoken” to me… now that I know a little it more about her story, I am kind of in love with her too!

      • Hi Joanie,

        Ha! It is easy to fall in love with Chiara. Being around her is a jolt of positive energy! Even when we’re emailing, I get energized.

        Actually, the book isn’t quite finished as just when I thought I was close to knocking it out, more wonderful ladies of Piemonte wine families came onto my radar screen. I’m back there in May for the final round of interviews.

        In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Chiara, you can read my articles I wrote for the Vail Daily (there are about 4, I think). Just go to vaildaily.com and put in the search terms “hoffman boschis” and extend the period cover all of 2013 until today. I had a blast writing them. Never a boring moment with Chiara!

  2. Thanks! I will check you out on the Vaily Daily. For your book, did you manage to interview Elisa and Enrica Scavino, too?

  3. I met Chiara at Vinitaly this year – what a wonderful lady…so full of life and energy…great post, Joanie!!

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