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The youth revolution in Franciacorta: Eleonora Bianchi’s story about Terre d’Aenòr

What would happen if you decided to change your life and chose to lead a winery in Franciacorta at just 25 years old? The account you are about to read is that of the founder of Terre d’Aenòr, Eleonora Bianchi, who has embraced a new and stimulating challenge of working in the wine sector, much like many of her peers. In fact, recent research shows a growing trend amongst graduated under 35s, who have decided to work in agriculture and in particular in the wine sector. Let Eleonora tell you her story.

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From the legal world to the vineyard

Until November 2020 I was convinced that I would become a lawyer. It had always been my dream, I knew I already wanted to study law at the tender age of 12. After completing my law degree I started a work placement in a legal studio with the aim of doing the bar exam at the end of the placement as per the Italian state requirements. As my university study was drawing to a close, my father, who had always been passionate about wine, achieved one of his great dreams. Together with the technical director Ermes Vianelli he started the production of a series of organic sparkling wines from the 2018 harvest. The original plan was very simple, once I had obtained the license to practice law from the State in 2022 I would have joined the project full time. But when do things ever go exactly as planned?

I decided to work part time in the legal studio for my placement, as this allowed me to dedicate the rest of my time to the wine project. These months were very difficult and frenetic as I was constantly very busy. In fact what followed was something that I would never have thought possible. The picture I once had in my mind of my future, namely that of being involved in court cases in front of a judge, was gradually giving way to a new, adrenaline fueled dream. That of being an entrepreneur, involved in analysing the competition, controlling the production processes and maintaining quality standards, setting sales objectives, coordinating and motivating my team, arranging and organising wine tastings and other events. It was a natural process, the more I got involved in the project on a daily basis, the clearer my path became. In general I am not somebody who likes to be divided between different things, I love to dedicate myself completely to what I believe in. The winery is a new and developing project, full of potential, aiming for new horizons, all characteristics that I share.

So, on one winter’s day in 2020, I took the decision to change my future, illuminating one of those typically dark and dull wintery days with a boost of enthusiasm. I decided to embrace the wine project Terre d’Aenòr instead of pursuing my law career. From that moment I immersed myself completely in a new world and started to understand how much this project, bearing my name, needed my full dedication. And so here I am, a young entrepreneur.

 

What does Franciacorta mean to me?

Before Terre d’Aenòr I associated wine with social moments, a magical element that helped everybody feel good. This new entrepreneurial adventure has led me to study the basics of agronomy and oenology (as you can see I haven’t abandoned my university attitude towards studying and learning). Now I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside Ermes on the topics of the vineyards and the wine cellar.

My interest has taken on a life of its own thanks in no small part to the splendid Franciacorta territory. I was born and grew up here, between lake Iseo on one side and the hills on the other side. Now, more than ever, surrounded by greenery and the rows of the vineyards, I understand how fortunate I am to live and work in this paradise. I am even starting to notice details that previously escaped my attention, for example the state of the vines, if they are in good condition, the stage of maturation of the grapes. All the fine details one picks up when learning the subject of wine production.

I have always been competitive, ambitious and principled and I would like to create something that has a positive impact on my territory and the wine world. My idea is to take an authentic product, namely Franciacorta sparkling wine, and make it the star in a variety of different contexts for example food, art, litterature, fashion, music. The wine animates the context within which it is found, creating interaction and lasting memories. This is what living the Franciacorta experience means.

 

My vision of Terre d’Aenòr, a winery bearing my name

I remember well how I first felt when my parents and I had chosen Terre d’Aenòr as the name of our winery. I felt full of pride as well as a sense of responsibility. Of course, at 25 years old, this could be a scary thing, but right from the beginning I embraced the challenge and decided to get my hands dirty learning many new practical things from my team in order to understand the key elements of an agricultural company.

I believe that approaching the wine world as an outsider looking at everything with a new pair of eyes can be an advantage, offering a different perspective for my winery, with a spirit of innovation. People like me, who come from Franciacorta, know very well that our region is a very traditional one, a closed circle reserved for a few special people. For this reason I have always liked thinking about Terre d’Aenòr as a modern winery in the Franciacorta world. Leading a project like Terre d’Aenòr at only 25 years old is truly revolutionary, a breath of fresh air bringing new life to the traditional Franciacorta territory. What is the point of an easy challenge?

 

Terre d’Aenòr in 3 words: innovation, participation and transparency

Right from the founding of Terre d’Aenòr there have been three concepts which are very important for me, as they form the indispensable impetus necessary for overcoming obstacles and challenging accepted conventions.

Innovation: a concept running through every fibre of the company. It starts with a 100% organic philosophy and the unequalled sensitivity of Ermes Vianelli. This is followed by the machines used to work the land, machines in the wine cellar and the necessary know-how. Last but not least, the innovation extends to the branding and communication, aspects that play a strategic role in the project and have been followed by myself right from the beginning.

Participation: Terre d’Aenòr was founded to connect with its public. Our wines make people who taste them live a fresh and elegant experience, creating a dialogue and stimulating new inputs. All of this occurs in an active way, promoting a real life exchange of experiences.

Transparency: I believe this concept, together with an attention for details, is the key to our winery. Transparency means to be genuine and authentic, as well as sharing every moment (for example the behind the scenes posts!), to lay bare the essence of our company. Like we are doing day by day through our social media channels and also in this article, where I have opened the door and invited you into my world.

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