Gabriele da Prato, born and raised in the mountain region North of Lucca is the owner of Podere Concori, a small family vineyard at Fiattone, just a few miles from Barga. The link between food and wine is part of his DNA. He comes from a long line of restaurateurs and he ran the family osteria in nearby Gallicano for many years. The Podere, farmed by his grandparents, was an important supplier of basic table wines to the restaurant. Podere Concori covers around 25 acres but only 7.5 are planted with vines, in a series of very diverse micro-areas. Making wine in Garfagnana, there wasn’t a winery within 37 miles nor a wine with a label or a faint recollection of what had once been the highest vineyard of Tuscany. Large sections of the rich composite soil lie on top of glacial river stones, the remnants of a prehistoric lake that once existed here. Gabriele started to oversee the production of the farm in the late 1990’s when he was not sure what varieties had been planted in the 50-year old vineyard, where the emphasis had been quantity rather than quality. After exploring Germany and parts of France, Gabriele began to understand which varieties might be more suited to the mountainous Garfagnana climate, and his vineyard now comprises Syrah, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer. Gabriele harvests manually and his grapes ripen, with a small selection of his best grapes still pressed by foot. Steel vats are used for fermentation and the wine passes a limited time in wooden barrels. Total production: about 12,000 bottles/ year.