Simone Mochi: Beyond the Vines


by Jessica Guiton

Simone Mochi never wanted to sit behind a desk in a windowless office. Instead, he wanted a life outdoors where each day brought something new. Simone Mochi stands amongst his vines.

Simone has lived that life since 1988 when he took over and transformed his father’s wine-making business. As farmer, winemaker, and businessman, his days for the last 24 years have been dictated by the grapes.

As the sole wine producer in Cagli, Italy, Simone says, he and his five varieties of wine are popular with locals. In fact, Simone estimates that 70 percent of his business is from Cagliesi. Simone is a familiar face on Cagli’s piazza at night where he can often be found sitting at a table, drinking and talking with those around him.

“In Cagli, they know the wine, and they know me,” says Simone.

Outside the center of Cagli, down a windy, dirt road that rises high into the mountains, sits Ca’ le Suore, Simone’s winery. Along with row after row of grape vines and an agriturismo – complete with pool, tennis courts and restaurant – there also stands a tall, plain building that houses the modern wine-making equipment Simone uses to produce his wines. The machines resemble those once used by Simone’s father but the addition of shiny metal spouts and precise gauges reveal the science behind the art of making wine.

Simone, clad in jean shorts and a simple T-shirt, fills a wine glass directly from the large, wooden vats that hold a 2011 Marche Rosso. In a most-elegant manner, he swirls the wine in the glass and inhales the scent of the burgundy-colored liquid. When he drinks, he seems to enjoy the taste as much as his customers.

After his father’s death, Simone decided to keep the family business running by taking over as owner. When his father ran the winery, he simply oversaw the operations. But Simone’s knowledge and interest in agriculture and his love for the outdoors caused him to revamp and restructure the business so that he, as owner, took a more hands-on role in the wine production process. Unlike his father, who hired several employees, Simone works in the fields growing the grapes that are found in every bottle of Ca’ le Suore wines. He also loves to experiment, creating new wines for the business. In fact, Simone says Ca’ le Suore’s newest creation, Massimo, is his favorite of his five wines.

This is an old man’s game, being a farmer.Simone walks among his vines with pride. He touches the leaves and examines the clusters of fruit that take a great deal of time and attention to properly cultivate, especially in the Marche region of Italy where he says the mountains make farming difficult. As Simone carefully checks his grapes, he explains the difficulties they sometimes face. This year’s crop suffers from a lack of rain, and the grapes are stunted.
Just as Simone took over his father’s business, he hopes the winery will stay in the family. But, he says, he wants his children to make their own choices.

"I’m not pushing them toward that at all,” he says. “They haven’t shown much interest.  This is an old man’s game, being a farmer.”

Nevertheless, Simone is still hopeful that years from now Ca’ le Suore will still be a Mochi family business. With a big smile on his face, Simone again talks about his children’s futures. Jokingly, he says, “If the recession continues and they want to eat, they’ll be back.”



pix pix pix pix pix pix

Archives Explore our past stories

Contact Us

To find out more information about how
you can participate or support the Cagli project, contact:

Name: Shannon Zaranski
Phone:+1 509 - 313 - 3569
Director: Dr. John Caputo