Ginevra Notarbartolo is an inspiring young woman. At just 32 years of age, she is following in the footsteps of her famous grandfather, acclaimed wine-producer, Count Paolo Marzotto, at the family’s Sicilian vineyard, Baglio di Pianetto, south of Palermo.
Ginevra embraces her new role as manager of the ‘L’ Agrirelais’ the vineyard’s luxury resort, while also mastering the techniques and artistry of wine-production, profiting from her grandfather’s immense and profound knowledge and experience.
Being a young woman in a role of leadership and management in a region of Italy so entrenched in traditions and perceptions of a woman’s role in society, obviously has its share of challenges. Lucky for Ginevra she relishes in the face of a challenge.
‘In the beginning it was difficult as some of the non-regular workers at the Baglio would not respond directly to me when I asked a question; but instead, to anyone who was not a woman.’
‘Being a woman, they don’t expect you to have a relationship with them on a working level, as it is not in their culture or tradition.’
‘It has taken time, but the respect has been well worth the effort.’
Drawing on her background in the theatre in Milan, she says that it is much the same dynamic played out in the vineyard.
‘In the theatre you are not just the director or the actor, you are also helping to move lights, helping with costumes and other things, in the vineyard it is the same; you are there doing many things, not just managing or making decisions, you are there doing everything.’
‘For this reason it all came easily to me to use my skills and experience here in the vineyards and with the winemaking.’
It is this hands-on, adaptable approach, that enables Ginevra to shine and succeed as a woman and a leader at the Baglio.
Photos and words © Susan Wright
Editorial and Portrait Photographer, Rome, Italy