Villadoria is located in the town of Serralunga, in the heart of Barolo, in Piedmont. The winery, known for its Nebbiolo based wines – Barolo and Barbaresco - started in the late 1930’s and is currently run by Daniele and his daughter Paola – the fourth generation. When she started, she was one of maybe 3 women making wine in the region, although now there are several more. Paola has been linked to wine her entire life and had always wanted to be a winemaker. Her childhood memories of her grandfather walking in the vineyards, talking to the grapes, represented the first idea of happiness for her. Now a Mom herself, she hopes that her baby daughter will have the same experiences of happiness in her home, the vineyards and the beautiful Langhe region.
Who has inspired you the most in your work? My dad and my grandfather have been the people who most inspired me. I was lucky because during my education I had great teachers that always motivated me and gave me the tools to take on this job. However, the most important lesson was the experience in the winery under the technical guidance of my father.
How do you see women’s roles in the wine business evolving since you began? The stories of women in wine business are stories of passion, hard work, emancipation, family and innovation, in a world where male leadership is still very common. The role of women in wine production has been silent for a long time, but the wind is changing and the number of women running wine companies is increasing more and more, even though equality is still far away. Women who lead companies often have enlightened visions and rich perspectives for the future. I like to think that we are artisans of the grape, our role being to use our vision of the world to interpret the grapes. Everything starts from the vineyard with the choice of the cultivation methods, and expresses itself at its best in the cellar, where we prepare our "recipe" with our style, respecting the wine's own personality and the terroir.
The pandemic experience has reminded us how important nature is. It offered us a unique occasion to rethink the value we give to our world, to our time and to people. We must start again from the land, which must be treated with even greater respect that goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability.
How do you sum up what being a woman in the wine business has been like for you? To be honest, it hasn’t been so easy. When I started my experience in the wine business, I was quite young and the leadership was mostly overrun by men. It was inevitable to come up against prejudices when key roles were covered by women. But I’m headstrong learning that from the men of my family, so I’m used to not giving up! Being a woman in wine business for me is a great opportunity to fulfill values which I deeply believe in, as a meritocracy and equal opportunities, based on actual skills, rather than gender.
What is your favorite wine and food pairing? Among the many food and wine pairings that I love, I would pick Plin, a tiny handmade pasta filled with meat, and Barolo Serralunga 2016 - a great vintage. This pairing is for me a perfect expression of Langhe tradition, Plin and Barolo - two stars of our land!