Italy’s Prison Inmates Rehabilitated Through Winemaking

Convict Harvest: The Italian convicts who are being socialised through wine production.

On the remote Italian prison island of Gorgona, an experimental project is turning hardened criminals into the most improbable winemakers. Could high-class prison hooch really encourage reform?

“Since I arrived here, it’s like being reborn”, says an inmate serving out a 13 year sentence. “We’re in the open, out in the fields.” On Gorgona, inmates avoid Italy’s overcrowded prisons and instead make a wine that’s sold in three Michelin starred restaurants at $130 a bottle. The key to the project’s success? Inmates “learn to take pride in their work”, explains expert winemaker Marquis Lamberto Frescobaldi.


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