ENOSIS Meraviglia

Centro ricerche applicate allo sviluppo enologico

La Stampa - Interview by Paul Massobrio

“A wine of quality is the harmonization of its molecules”

La Stampa - Interview by Paul Massobrio
La Stampa - Interview by Paul Massobrio

» La Stampa - Interview by Paul Massobrio

“A wine of quality is the harmonization of its molecules”

Donato Lanati is one of the most famous enologists in the world.


In his laboratory he studies the secrets of taste and flavor.On arriving from Fubine, you first see it from a distance, standing out against the sky on a hillock. One finds it hard not to suppress an outburst: “How wonderful!” The very same thought must have occurred to Duke Cacherano of Bricherasio, when in the 16thcentury, he laid the foundation to this farmhouse that is now the headquarters of Enosis, a jewel that was born 10 years ago on the 2ndof July, the brainchild of Donato Lanati, born in 1953.

He graduated in enology from Alba and then Agricultural Sciences at Turin. After having taught for 17 years, he founded Enosis in 1990:  much more than a laboratory for analytical consultancy and today among the most important in Europe. The key to the center is the ‘method’:  the procedure that allows for a continuous, ongoing research into the world of wine. This constant research entails laboratories for control, vineyards with specialized collections of vines and, above all, a treasure trove of knowledge. “My goal is to make the invisible visible. In the glass not only do we see the colors, we observe the perfumes that begin to develop right from the beginning. We have studied how the bouquet moves within the confines of the glass and what these movements mean”. To that end, he has invented a wineglass, the ‘Meraviglia’ [marvelous] tasting glass, with a bulging ring around the center like the Ring of Saturn, which captures and retains the perfumes.

Upon entering the study room the first thing one sees is a representation of the aromatic flowers in which the leaves represent the latent perfumes hidden within, guaranteeing the future of the wines. Then we come across a curious figure – a little man who represents the molecules (the taste) while the bow-tie indicates the persistence of the taste; the heart is, instead, the Resveratrol antioxidants.

To sum up, artistry and fun combined with the ability to communicate complex ideas in simple concepts. Yet it is also a kind of experimental winemaking Garden of Eden, in addition to studies on the correlation between oxygen and wine.

“In a certain way, what happens in wine is exactly that which happens in our bodies” says Lanati, who is a follower of the nutraceutical approach to health:   the relationship between wine and health mediated through antioxidants.

“By working to the upmost in the vineyard one can increase this level of antioxidants. The mantra of Enosis is: “Bottle the best wine possible, produced in the most natural way possible”.

What role does science play then?

“To understand what happens in nature in order to be able to repeat and replicate it consistently”.

Where is the originality in your approach?

“That I will never settle for just making a good wine, even though Nature has given me the gift to do so. I am able to carry out 600 tastings a day without running the risk of failing a breathalyzer test”.

What about the idea of robots working in the winery?

“The five senses working together, each with its own ‘memory’ allows me to read the message the wine wishes to transmit. At times, the five senses mingle and I have a clear picture what the wine will taste like; the sensations that will be perceived by those who drink it. However, this process of intuition and feeling when I taste the wine is not completely scientific: it is much more artistic.”

Can you explain a little?

“It is a kind of ‘chaos of the senses’ which are then understood, noted and reproduced scientifically in an ordered sensibility, always with the intention of interpreting the wishes of the consumer.

Is there a sort of fusion between Art and Science?

“Art is Science, in my opinion, in that it allows one to represent the Truth. The aesthetic aspect has always played an important role in my life and that ethos pervades the air here at Enosis. Beauty is harmony just as a quality wine is the harmony of its molecules”.

Do you have a special place?

“All of these feelings and emotions, I experience when I go to the monastery at Alaverdi in Georgia”.

If you were to bet on the vine of the future what would it be?

“I would say Mavrud in Bulgaria and Saperavi in Georgia. In Italy, I would also consider the Albarossa from Piedmont”.

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