We sat down with Laura di Collobiano in the stunning garden of her historic home and organic vineyard, Tenuta di Valgiano. Learn about her inspirations and the allure of this enchanting estate atop the ancient hills above Lucca.
Photography by Dariusz Jasak, Words by Bradley Seymour
"I first came to Lucchesia at the end of the eighties, to see friends and attend parties. Many were being organized in the beautiful villas."
If you had to choose, which season captures the essence of your garden and why?
"The autumn, for all the scents and colors."
Water is often seen as a symbol of harmony and balance in a garden. How did you incorporate the flowing water into the design of your garden, and what significance does it hold for you?
"The water flowing in the garden has been so for centuries, it passes through, as it belongs to my next-door neighbor (it was once a unique property). The water represents harmony and freshness."
How do you balance the beauty of the garden with the functionality of the vineyard on your expansive property?
"The garden is a lot more complicated than the vineyard because there are many different plants."
Is there a plant in your garden that you particularly love? Could you tell us more about your favorites and what makes them unique?
"I have many favorites, in the winter the Calycanthus, and in the summer the Eupatorium."
Could you elaborate on the biodiversity of your land? We're interested to hear more about the diverse range of flora and fauna that thrive in your estate.
"Lucchesia has maintained biodiversity, in fact, there is a forest, olive groves, vineyard, fruit orchards, wheat fields, and vegetable gardens."
You've referred to Tenuta di Valgiano as a lifelong project. Can you share more about what this means to you and your long-term aspirations for the vineyard?
"Making wine is a job very much linked to the territory and its terroir; one takes ages to understand all the different aspects of the morphologic formation of the soil; the climate, and all the possible yearly variations, so every year we produce a different wine, and year after year we observe and contemplate what comes out of the vines."
How does the land affect the taste of your wine? Can you explain how your winemaking philosophy incorporates and respects the unique terroir of your vineyard?
"I often think that when you drink Valgiano, you are experiencing the liquid expression of our beautiful landscape. "A fine wine cannot be made anywhere" is also the title of a webinar I held on Valgiano, the last July I was hosted at the 67 Pall Mall."
If there's just one must-visit spot in the area, what would it be and why?
"Gragnano has a centuries-old oak tree “La grande quercia “ that is simply amazing."
How do you live in a Lucchese garden?