Some people are as well organized in their professional life as in their private life. Take the example of Dr. Francesco Bellini, holder of a doctorate in organic chemistry, leader in his field, and co-founder of biotechnology company, Biochem Pharma – the Québec success story behind ‘Lamivudine’ used in the treatment of AIDS. After selling his company in the early 2000s, he was already contemplating his retirement plan, when on a trip to Italy with his wife Marisa, he found it: a vineyard and inn. Welcome to Domodimonti and to the Magnolia hotel in the Marches region, near the Adriatic Sea.
The obsession of the good doctor was to remove chemicals from the wine during its development in order to make it more digestible. Who has never suffered a headache after a few drinks due to the use of large amounts of sulfite and other agents more or less allergenic or harmful? As a result of his training, Dr. Bellini was well equipped to confront, and successfully overcome, the challenges this presented. The wine specialist magazine ‘Wine Spectator’ accorded a score of 89% in a blind tasting of one of his products (Il Messia 2007). What’s his secret? Technology! Cryomaceration, nitrogen, computers… Nor is there anything quaintly Italian about the estate: the facilities are brand new, architecturally modern, and filled with solar panels and environmentally-friendly technologies.
On these lands which witnessed his birth in 1947 and from which he left for Montréal 20 years later, Francesco Bellini has returned to plant vineyards on 120 acres. He is developing four reds, two whites, and a rosé from different grapes: Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Pecorino, Passerina, but also Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Sugar-free products without additives, stabilizers, or acids, with little sulfite and using only natural yeasts: wines in harmony with their creator, where technology plays an important role, but where pleasure is always in evidence. This scientist has not yet retired, and has since founded a new company, Bellus Health. Will it develop like a fine wine? In the meantime, his producing vineyards await.
The Magnolia Inn, s mall hotel, grand cru
More than just a vineyard, Domodimonti includes a beautiful small inn with a dreamlike name: Magnolia. A small abandoned farmhouse was converted into a seven-suite boutique hotel. Originally intended for family receptions, the hotel is now open to visitors. Located in the enchanting Montefiore dell’Aso, with its breathtaking views and contemporary rooms, the decoration is inspired by the seven house wines: from classical to contemporary, all designed with impeccable quality and taste. In addition, you can visit the vineyard, attend wine tastings, enjoy distinctive meals, bask in the infinity swimming pool, relax with an in-room massage, or take a dip in the sea. Personalized attention, an idyllic setting, and attention to detail (like the Jardin de Ville furniture) await you. An unforgettable experience: Time spent at Magnolia will engrave itself as a lasting memory.
Photos: Domodimonti and mixte magazine