the other ferrari

You don’t need to be a motor racing F1 fanatic or sports car enthusiast to recognise the image: F1 winning drivers on the podium uncorking gigantic bottles of alcohol and spraying each other (and everyone else) in hedonistic victory. It’s an iconic sporting moment. But where does this bottle of bubbly come from? Who is behind it all? Schön! set forth to find out.

According to Italians, the surname Ferrari is very common. As common as a British Smith or a German Schmidt. And whilst the majority of the world hears Ferrari, we think of sports cars, but there are other more elusiveyet very importantFerrari’s. Hidden in the winding mist-drenched mountains of Trento, Italy lies a vineyard that produces wine under the label Ferrari Trento. And whilst Ferrari Trento has no relation to the Ferrari cars that we all know and admire, since 2021 it’s been the official toast of F1. It is THE sparkling wine (not champagne, as most think) that we see uncorked on the podium and the F1 racers shake and spray.

Presiding over these lush mountain vineyards sits a magnificent 16th century residence named Villa Margon. With stunningly vivid frescos and priceless antiques, Villa Margon serves as the beating heart of the Ferrari Trento estate. Established in 1902, the founder of the label, Guilio Ferrari aimed to create wines that resembled the champagnes of France. But in 1952, Ferrari chose Bruno Lunelli, a reputed winemaker in Trento, as his successor who brought the humble label into the spotlight. To this day, the grandchildren of Bruno Lunelli continue to manage the estate.

Although Ferrari Trento isn’t associated with Ferrari cars, Camilla and Matteo Lunelli (Bruno’s grandchildren and CEO and President of Ferrari Trento) divulges that their grandfather had personally known the car designer Enzo Ferrari. It seems serendipitous that Ferrari Trento now heralds the F1 podium and have become part of the story. In every corner of the F1 paddocks, one will come across the sleek and elegant bottles. During the F1 season over 100,000 corks of Ferrari Trento are popped throughout the tracks and 72 bottles sprayed on the podium.

However, off the frenetic, highly-charged F1 tracks, visiting the Ferrari Trento winery and vineyards is a totally different world. It’s an oasis of calm and tranquillity. And although the world of motor racing is seen as an indulgent one, the Lunelli family in comparison are huge advocates of sustainable agriculture. The vineyards and surrounding environment is passionately protected, earning them an organic certification for all company owned vineyards and they stick to a total ban on the use of chemicals in favour of traditional practices and natural fertilisers. The wines themselves are fantastic and full of complexities. As the vineyards are located in the mountains, the mountainside viticulture, tempestuous weather and variation of soil injects a ton of unique flavour into the grapes grown here.

The Lunelli’s passion for philanthropy is so strong that it has even been introduced into the F1 circuit. For the 2024 races, Ferrari Trento will auction 17 signed bottles from the 2024 FIA Formula One World Championship, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish International.

So next time you’re watching the F1 races, just know that there’s a huge family history behind those uncorked bottles we see.

words + photography. J. Bibi Cooper

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