Together for top wines from Gaillac

The people whom Ferdinand von Thun has gathered around himself in his vineyard are far more than the best in their specialty: they share his passion for great wine and for the fantastically beautiful region it comes from, Gaillac.

Ferdinand von Thun

The Pioneer

Ferdinand Graf von Thun und Hohenstein is a businessman from Munich with two great passions: connoisseur adventures and great wines. In 1998, on his first trip to Gaillac, the forgotten wine region, he saw the gently decaying walls of the charming Château de Frausseilles and fell in love right away – so he bought it.

Here, about 80km from Toulouse, he set out to make his dream reality: producing world-class red wines that, like their predecessors in the heyday of the 13th to 17th centuries, are robust, independent, extremely easy to store and in demand the world over. He wants to raise awareness among connoisseurs for this beautiful region and bring about a renaissance of the Gaillac wine region. Together with his friend of many years, oenologist Riccardo Cotarella, he set to work.

What significance does Château de Frausseilles have in the history of Gaillac? What were the conditions that Ferdinand von Thun found in his vineyards? How did he choose which wine varieties to cultivate, and what does he think of the region’s wine authorities and their rigid guidelines? A meeting with the Count gives detailed insights.

Dr. Riccardo Cotarella

The Magician

Dr Riccardo Cotarella is one of the most renowned oenologists from Italy and referred to the world over as “Il Mago”. Among his magical creations are wine icons such as Montiano Merlot from his family’s own vineyard Falesco in Lazio, as well as Montevetrano and Terra di Lavoro Galardis from Campania. Again and again, the internationally sought-after wine magician manages to tease out absolutely marvellous wines from misunderstood regions.

This, and his enthusiasm for the Gaillac region, make Dr Cotarella the perfect partner for Ferdinand Graf von Thun: he has helped develop the Comte de Thun wine adventure from the very start. He is supported locally by a small and experienced team. In a personal conversation, Riccardo Cotarella reveals why he is so convinced by von Thun’s terroir and shares some of the secrets of his art.

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A team

full of passion

Daily care of the vines and sophisticated wine-making in the cellar have been some of the tasks for Orlando Caporro and his team since 2007. Following his degree, the young oenologist from Rome worked under the leadership of Dr Riccardo Cotarella for several years before the latter chose him as the oenologist in charge of Ferdinand von Thun’s vineyard. Discovering Gaillac together, trying out new things every day, questioning the rules – it’s their love of adventure and for the region that keeps these three men together and drives them onward.

A team

full of passion

Daily care of the vines and sophisticated wine-making in the cellar have been some of the tasks for Orlando Caporro and his team since 2007. Following his degree, the young oenologist from Rome worked under the leadership of Dr Riccardo Cotarella for several years before the latter chose him as the oenologist in charge of Ferdinand von Thun’s vineyard. Discovering Gaillac together, trying out new things every day, questioning the rules – it’s their love of adventure and for the region that keeps these three men together and drives them onward.