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Agricultural entrepreneur, producer (including wine), historical supporter of Slow Food, passionate about Italian wine (thanks to the historical bond of his family with the Frescobaldis), and also an honorary sommelier: this is also his majesty King Charles III of England, ascended the throne after the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. A king, Charles of England, who has always been attentive to agricultural issues. Not just as an organic food producer, breeder and wine producer on his Highgrove House estate in Gloucestershire. But also as a supporter of British farmers, for example, with “The Prince’s Countryside Fund”, launched in 2010, as the Prince of Wales, to support UK farming families. But King Carlo has long been a lover of Italy and its wine, agricultural and gastronomic heritage, as many things that WineNews have reported over the years tell us. Starting from the historic friendship of the Windsor family with the Frescobaldi family, which, for seven hundred years, has had relations with the English Crown, of which, for wine and oil, it is the historical supplier, also thanks to the personal attendance of Bona and Vittorio Frescobaldi, with the royal house, who were among the very few Italians among the guests at the wedding of William, Carlo’s son, with Kate Middleton, to whom they donated the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva di Castelgiocondo, without forgetting the visit, in 1986, of Carlo in Tuscany.
“It was April 1986 – remembers Lamberto Frescobaldi, to WineNews – and Carlo came for the first time with a niece, then returned with Lady Diana, and together with my mother, as a sign of friendship, he planted an olive tree and a vine in Nipozzano. And from that olive tree we have always collected the olives and given Carlo, every year, a symbolic bottle of Laudemio … It is a true friendship that with my family, Carlo was a guest at my parents’ house, not in the hotel . With my mother they visited many things, important cities, but also many villages, which at the time was not usual, such as San Gimignano and Montalcino, land of Brunello (historical photo together with Vittorio and Bona Frescobaldi in the Caffè Fiaschetteria Italiana 1888, coffee created by Ferruccio Biondi Santi, the inventor of Brunello, in the historic center of Montalcino, in 1888, ed). His friendship was born with my mother Bona and my father Vittorio, who have cultivated this relationship with Prince Charles, now King. Who is a lover of nature, the countryside, good management of the countryside, the land, is himself a producer, and brought more environmentally friendly visions of farming to England. He is attentive to ethics, he is a lover of all of Italy and of Tuscany in particular ”. A bond, therefore, that of Charles III with Italian wine, which already blossomed in the 1980s, and also strengthened in 2017, when as Prince of Wales, together with his partner, Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall and former president of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association, in Florence, at Villa Michelangelo, he personally met many protagonists of Italian wine, from Jacopo Biondi Santi, at the time at the helm of the Greppo Biondi Santi Estate in Montalcino and his estate in Scansano in Maremma Tuscany Castello di Montepò , to Giovanni Manetti (Fontodi), in the Chianti Classico, from the Antinori family to Vittorio Moretti, patron of the Moretti group (which includes Bellavista, Contadi Castaldi, in Franciacorta, Sella & Mosca in Sardinia and Teruzzi, in San Gimignano), as well as, of course , to the Frescobaldi family), in the meeting organized by Franco Ricci, patron of the Italian Sommelier Foundation (Fis), who, on that occasion, gave Carlo and Camilla the dip loma of Honor Sommelier.
A sovereign friend of Italian wine, therefore, but of all of Italy, even on the food and wine and agricultural front. Which he also met thanks to the priceless work of Carlin Petrini, founder of Slow Food, who, knowing of Carlo’s sensitivity on agricultural issues, invited him to the Salone del Gusto, in 2004, with Carlo of England who, together with Petrini, visited even the Wine Bank fell in love with the Slow Food project, and became an enthusiastic promoter in England. Another friendship was born with Petrini, whom Carlo, among other occasions, met again in Florence in 2017, at the Magazzini del Sale of the late chef Fabio Picchi, where Petrini told Carlo and Camilla about the value of the artisanal products of the territories hit by the earthquake. which devastated part of central Italy. And there is no shortage of curiosities, such as when, in 2009, the then Prince Charles entrusted the starred chef and butcher Massimo Spigaroli, of the Antica Corte Pallavicina, with his pigs of ancient English breeds, to understand their potential. Lover of Italian wine, attentive to environmental issues, and to traditional as well as innovative agriculture, Carlo III, who just a few months ago, in May 2022, opened up to green genetics, announcing that “Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding ) Bill will develop the potential of new technologies to promote efficient and sustainable agriculture and food production ”.
A commitment that is also reported in the concise official announcement of the accession to the throne of Charles, as stated on the official website of the English Royal House, which reads: “King Charles III, formerly known as the Prince of Wales, was born in 1948 and is became designated heir with the entry of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. As Prince of Wales, Her Majesty has been actively interested in all areas of public life for decades. In addition to his official and ceremonial duties in the UK and overseas, the King has been instrumental in establishing more than 20 charities over the course of 40 years, including the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Foundation. His Majesty has worked closely with many organizations, publicly supporting a wide variety of causes related to the environment, rural communities, the arts, health and education. ” This too, therefore, is King Charles III of England, a prince who, in British history, has waited longer than anyone else before ascending the throne, and who seems to have clear ideas on issues such as organic farming, architecture and sustainable development. Which, given the influence that the English monarchy, in terms of visions and opinions, has a much wider reach than the United Kingdom and the 56 countries that are part of the Commowealth, could in its own way mark a turning point in the relationship between agriculture and sustainability. and fight against climate change, a real emergency for the whole world.

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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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