ISOLA wine When dreams become reality

For more than 25 years one Balinese family had a dream to make a good wine in Indonesia. It is not easy since the soil and tropical climate are almost always winners in a battle with wine grapes. Many backed out but Gede Sumarjaya Linggih (in alias pak Demer) was persistent. He wanted his beautiful island to have its own wine and to bring Indonesia on a wine map of the world. He passed his love of wine to his son Bagus who also thought that making wine here on the Island of Gods was possible. They tried producing using local techniques, but they were never satisfied with the results, until three years ago. Bagus just came home after finishing his study at Manchester University, when they met two Italians passionately in love with wine and Bali.

Giotto Castiglioni (manager) and Giacomo Anselmi (agronomist and wine maker) were exploring the viticulture of Bali and how to make a good wine. When they met Linggih family it was as if it was meant to be and the collaboration was born. With the knowledge of Italian wine making and Balinese heritage, they created Isola wine brand. Isola means island in Italian and they choose it because they wanted to present Balinese origin wines with Italian quality. The wine was born in Bali, it was cultivated in Bali and produced in Bali – it is local wine with an artistic Italian touch.

“If you make a good wine in Bali it is possible to make everything. We also want to boost local agronomy and teach locals to cultivate quality grapes. We want to give local people more jobs and leave the famous heritage of Italian wine making to them, so they can grow more, be independent and make great products” – said Bagus emphasizing that they want to demonstrate to international community that everything can be done in Bali by teaching locals and passing them the knowledge to find their own path.

The job of cultivating hight quality grapes in the tropical climate was not easy but Giacomo, Agronomist and winemaker, decided to accept this challenge. “It’s like to work for my dream” said Giacomo. It was a teamwork of him, Giotto and father and son of Linggih family to produce an excellent wine. And they succeeded! In the North Coast of this beautiful island, the wine pioneer made red and white wine, as well as a rose. And it is magnificent!■

Bali Pocket Magazine