Be a Winemaker From The Comfort of Your Home
Ever sit back in a rocking chair, overlooking the vines at your estate in Italy, soaking in that Mediterranean sun, and need a good pinch to remind you that it's real? Us neither. Generally, that pinch would wake you up to your actual reality which is not in Tuscany but probably on a much-more-modest front porch or perhaps in your living room with digital copies your nonna's old vinyl playing through an iPod dock. But soon enough, you may be able to experience, in real life, the best part of winemaking: the actual drinking of the wine you had a heavy hand in producing. MyTailoredWine, a venture started by Federico Genta Ternavasio and Paolo Terretto, offers anyone the opportunity to be a winemaker from the comfort of their home.

From selection of terroir and grapes to overseeing all aspects of the wine-making process — including viticulture, oenology and cellar work, and the materials used in packaging — this is a truly comprehesive experience. And with the team behind MyTailoredWine there for consultancy, an experience that promises to provide a tasty outcome.

"Our customers will be able to consult with some of the world’s leading oenologists, as well as receiving logistical support from wineries that are among the very best in their particular terroirs," explains Ternavasio. "The whole winemaking process unfolds over a variable period of time (depending on the aging process chosen by the client, which will last between 12 and 40 months), with the client enjoying a series of dedicated encounters. And with the help of their own personal oenologist, they will be able to test their wine in order to valuate how to intervene in the winemaking process and during the ageing period."
The terroir currently available to choose from are Barolo, Chianti Classico, and Bolgheri. And each terroir has an estate — Cordero di Montezemolo, Castello di Meleto, and Michele Satta, respectively — providing a variety of grapes: Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah. "Our partner estates have been choosen directly from me and Paolo," says Ternavasio. "They decided to join the project, together with their oenologists, giving us a limited number of barriques available per year; as you can imagine, customising a barrique according to each client’s needs and desires... it's something that is not so easy for them to do — the limited number [of estates] is a decision taken to guarantee top quality of the final product."

MyTailoredWine Regions

"The most popular variety are indeed related to Tuscany," Ternavasio continues. "We sell a piece of Italian lifestyle, giving our customers the possibility to discover some of the most outstanding places in the whole country. As a consequence of the link between wine and travelling, Tuscany and its grapes (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah), are a bit ahead in comparison to the Langhe and Barolo (Nebbiolo)."

The cost for a barrique (translating to mean "barrel," consisting of 300 bottles, the minimum order allowed) is between €10,000 and €21,000, approximately $13,820 to $29,022. So it might be assumed that the winemakers are seriously passionate about wine to overcome a rather prohibitive entry point. Thus far, the clientelle has been largely made up of foreigners, at around 75% of all their "winemakers," and generally consist of business men and women in the private sector. While European markets have been their primary focus, MyTailoreWine plans to shift that focus towards other potential markets that exhibit a likeliness to participate in what they see as a growing trend. These other potential markets they would like to expand into include the United States, Russia, and the ever-interesting China.

"Our clients are normally purchasing because of their passion for wines, and because they wanna live an extraordinary experience being involved in all stages of the winemaking process," says Ternavasio. "It's a process that gently introduces them in the Italian world of wine, and some of them don't exclude to invest in their own property in future. On the other hand of course there are also clients that purchase in order to have something that is 'made only for them.'"
Ternavasio and Torretta emphasize that they employ the finest raw materials, promoting the intimate connection with the local territory and landscape, features that they consider to fit perfectly with the philosophy of particular restaurants and hotels; therefore they have proposed collaborite projects to selected partners they hope to work with. And in order to deepen the link between wine and tourism — the link that has Tuscany as their most popular region — MyTailoredWine plans to court additional regions, not only in Italy by way of Veneto, Lombardy, and Sicily, but also in France, focusing on Bordeaux and Burgundy.
For more information on how you might become a winemaker, check out the detailed PDF available on their site.