Uncorked: Francesca Turra

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Francesca Turra head sommelier Fallow

Related tags Francesca Turra Uncorked Fallow Sommelier Wine

The head sommelier at London’s Fallow on women in wine, her diverse wine list and the Côte de Beaune-based Domaine Chavy-Chouet.

Tell us about the moment you first became interested in wine
I don’t remember the specific moment, but my dream was to be a winemaker even though I didn’t have a wine background, so I studied Enology at the University of Milan and I graduated in 2009. And since then, I love wine and being part of the wine industry.

Describe your wine list at Fallow
The wine list at Fallow is a mix of all the wines from Europe. Fallow restaurant is known for its sustainable and inventive approach to dining, so you might expect to find a selection of wines that complement its seasonal and locally sourced menu. Typically, you might find a diverse range of wines, including selections from both established and emerging wine regions, with an emphasis on sustainable, organic, or biodynamic producers.

Over the course of your career, have you had any wine-related disasters?
On one of my first days as assistant head sommelier in a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy (Villa Crespi), While presenting a Champagne trolley and preparing to open a bottle of Gosset Rose, I discovered that the champagne wasn’t chilled enough. As I removed the capsule and attempted to open the bottle, the cork unexpectedly popped, resulting in a champagne shower for the guests, the tablecloth, and even the curtains behind the table. It was quite an embarrassing moment for me.

Name your top three restaurant wine lists
My favourites in London are Noble Rot, Peckham Cellars and Noizé. 

Who do you most respect in the wine world?
The women who have substantially impacted the wine industry, despite its predominantly male-dominated nature, through their expertise, written works, and educational initiatives.

What’s the most interesting wine you’ve come across recently?
Stalisma, PGI Thessaloniki White, Kamara Estate (in Greece). Love the freshness, acidity and incredible minerality.

What are the three most overused tasting notes?
Dry, floral and stone fruits.

What’s the best value wine on your list at the moment?
Barbaresco Cantina il Pino 2019, a great value Barbaresco showing some character and structure for Nebbiolo beginners. 

What is your ultimate food and drink match?
Guinness and oysters

Old World or New World?
Both of them. It’s too difficult to choose.

What is your pet hate when it comes to wine service in other restaurants?
Empty bottles upside down in ice buckets!

Who is your favourite producer right now?
Domaine Chavy-Chouet is one of the oldest families in Puligny-Montrachet, but since Romaric (Chavy) took over from his father in 2008, he combines rigour, tradition, and innovation. The wines are vibrant and complex making him one of the Cote de Beaune’s most interesting up-and-coming producers. 

As head sommelier a Fallow, what question do you most get asked by customers?
‘Why don’t you have Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand by the glass?’

Which wine producing region or country is underrated at the moment
One wine-producing region that could be considered underrated is Portugal. While Portugal has a rich history of winemaking dating back centuries, its wines are often overshadowed by those of its European neighbours like France, Italy, and Spain. However, Portugal offers a diverse range of unique and high- quality wines. With a focus on indigenous grape varieties, traditional winemaking techniques, and increasingly modern practices, Portuguese wines offer excellent value and diversity for wine lovers seeking something different.

It’s your last meal and you can have a bottle of any wine in the world. What is it and why?
2002 Ca’ del Bosco Dosage Zero Millesimato Franciacorta. I simply love this wine and, the winey is not that far from where my family lives. 

Women in Hospitality: Shaping a New Future​ 

Francesca Turra will appear on a panel with chef Chantelle Nicholson and Corinthia London restaurant director Cynthia Coomb later this month to mark International Women's Day. Moderated by Be Inclusive Hospitality founder Lorraine Copes and organised by hospitality freelancing platform Brigad, the panel will explore the challenges faced by women in the hospitality sector, the role of mentorship and support networks, and strategies for overcoming obstacles. They will also discuss how the hospitality landscape has shaped new opportunities for women, the significance of diversity and inclusion in the industry, what allyship looks like in the context of the hospitality industry, and pathways into hospitality, with a focus on the success stories and lessons learned. The event will take place at Balderton Capital, which is located close to King's Cross in central London, on 29 February. To find out more and book your place click here. 

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