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Marilisa Allegrini, Poggio al Tesoro Solosole Vermentino 2018, & Crab and Cambozola-Stuffed Arancini #ItalianFWT

This month the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers are writing about women in the wine industry with Pinny of Chinese Food & Wine Pairings leading the discussion. You can read her invitation: here.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump into the conversation about women in the  Italian wine industry with the #ItalianFWT bloggers. We'll be live on Twitter on Saturday, March 7th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add it to your tweets if you chime in. The following articles about women in the Italian wine industry will be going live between Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th...

Marilisa Allegrini

I decided to turn my focus to Marilisa Allegrini who is a sixth generation in a family of winegrowers. Her passion for wine and the future were immediately compelling...and I was easily able to locate a bottle of their wine. Her family has worked in the Valpolicello region since the 1500s, but the Poggio al Tesoro label - literally 'hill of treasure' - is from their estate in Bolgheri, Tuscany.

photo of Marilisa Allegrini from

Allegrini joined her family's Veneto-based company in 1980 after earning her degree in physical therapy from the University of Verona. While she started off as the sales and communication manager, she quickly climbed the ranks to CEO in just three short years. Her passion for wine and penchant for embracing new challenges led her to found Poggio al Tesoro with her brother Walter in 2001.

Poggio al Tesoro is comprised of four separate vineyards that are all within walking distance of each other. Via Bolgherese is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Cabernet Franc; Le Grottine is 33% Cabernet France, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Petit Verdot; Valle di Cerbaia is 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc; and Le Sondraie, with the widest variety of soil types, is comprised of 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc, 16% Vermentino, 16% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot.

And since then she has added the San Polo estate in Montalcino to their family portfolio. Allegrini and her family eliminated the use of herbicides and other chemicals, embracing more environmentally sustainable practices at San Polo. It was the first winery in Tuscany to be awarded the CasaClima wine certification for sustainability; and Allegrini appointed her daughter, Caterina, as CEO of San Polo in 2015. Two years later, it was certified organic.

In addition to being the CEO of her family's estates, she is on the board of the Brunello di Montalcino Wine Consortium and of the Italian Signature Wines Academy; she is a member of both the Donne del Vino and the Women of the Vine & Spirits associations.

In an interview about Poggio al Tesoro, posted on Galleon Wines, Allegrini is quoted as saying, “We have the responsibility to preserve this little hillside oasis so that we can leave it to our children, who will in turn become its stewards.” 

Poggio al Tesoro 
Solosole Vermentino 2018

The name Solosole, means 'only sun' or 'just sunlight. I am unsure of the significance of that. I'm certain that there is one...I just ran out of time to uncover it. This Vermentino comes from Allegrini's Poggio al Tesoro estates, specifically the Le Sondraie Vineyard.

On the nose, I got moderate floral aromas of honeysuckle and jasmine with some white pepper and cypress beneath. On the palate, the wine was more full than I anticipated, but its bright acidity made it the perfect flavor foil to my somewhat pungent arancini.

Crab and Cambozola-Stuffed Arancini

This is a great dish to use up leftover risotto. And this is a baked, not fried version, so it's less messy to make. Use whatever risotto you have on-hand. I'll admit that I was using leftover Crab Risotto and paired it with some leftover Cambozola. My boys remarked, "Cambozola tastes like a barnyard smells. This is not your best effort." Thanks a lot.

  • 3 to 4 cup leftover risotto, chilled
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded parmesan
  • 2 cloves, minced garlic
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 12 cubes Cambozola or whatever cheese you have on-hand
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, or traditional breadcrumbs
  • olive oil for spritzing
  • parsley for garnish
  • tomato sauce for serving


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the risotto, oregano, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper.

Take a handful of cold risotto and flatten slightly. Press one cube of Cambozola into the center. Cover the cheese with more rice and roll into a ball form. Dip the ball into flour, shaking lightly to remove any clumps,

Coat the ball with beaten eggs and, finally, roll the ball in the bread crumbs.

Place the coated ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining risotto until all of the risotto has been used.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and crisp to the touch. Serve with marinara sauce and a generous sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.

That's a wrap on women in the Italian wine industry. The Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers will be back next month with articles about Brachetto d'Acqui with Cindy of Grape Experiences at the lead. Stay tuned!


  1. I’ve always associated Allegrini with the Veneto so was nice to read about her involvement elsewhere.

  2. I had the opportunity to meet Marilisa at Vinitaly. The most gracious woman who certainly stands firmly in her conviction to help other women in wine. On the Arancini, the stinkier cheese the better, I'm betting I'd love these Camilla :-D Nice pairing.

  3. Sounds like it was a lovely wine and a gorgeous pairing!

  4. Love arancini! I like the idea of baking it instead of deep frying. And at least your boys are honest right? Haha!!

  5. Allegrini has a great attitude toward stewardship of the land. Love Vermentino and this one sounds just right with the pungent arancini.

  6. Wow, she made a quick rise to CEO! These arancini look amazing! Cambazola, that's a new to me cheese.

  7. Yes, but how does it taste? There are lots of stinky foods that are amazingly delicious.

  8. Love it. I was actually torn between doing Tiberio and Allegrini, and am still hoping to spotlight Allegrini soon. Beautiful wines. Totally with you on arancini as well. My favorite part about making risotto is making arancini with the leftovers! Have never done a baked version though, so will have to try your method.


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