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'Vineyards and High Heels' Wins Wine Spectator's 2017 Video Contest

Sisters put their winemaking passion to work as they take the reins at their family's Piedmont winery
Vintners Daniela and Monica Tibaldi take joy in their work, and in filming the 2017 Video Contest winner.

Lexi Williams
Posted: September 19, 2017

The Tibaldi men have been growing grapes in Piedmont's Roero district for generations, so when Stefano Tibaldi had no sons to carry on their tradition, his father, Tunin, thought it would be the end for them.

But his granddaughters, Daniela and Monica, had other ideas. The sisters produced their first vintage for Cantina Tibaldi in 2014, and have been bringing their "woman's touch" to the family business ever since. They shared their empowering story, plus a bit of girl-power humor, in their 2017 Wine Spectator Video Contest–winning entry, "Vineyards and High Heels."

"We wanted to make this video just for fun, but it's our reality," Daniela, 27, told Wine Spectator. That reality includes picking their own grapes, making wine, running the business side of things and—for seven-months-pregnant Monica—even starting the next generation. Although they joke about not having any time to themselves (because "it would be boring to be serious all the time," according to Daniela), carrying on their family's tradition makes all the hard work worthwhile.

"My grandfather, every time that he watches the video, he starts to cry," Daniela said. "It's our real story, so I think there's some emotion for him."

For the Tibaldi women, the video is about more than just their own experience. Working with promotional production company Langhe.tv, they hoped the film would bring recognition to the small but proud Roero district. "A lot of winemakers from Roero have congratulated us and shared the video and said, 'Go Roero, go!'" Daniela said. "[The video] represents a lot of producers in Roero, the new generation."

It's also a celebration of sisterhood. Only two years apart in age, Monica and Daniela have always been close. "It's good because we are so different; she's a little bit more professional than me … I'm more funny," Daniela said. "She is not only my sister, but my best friend, so there is a lot of love!"

The first-place prize includes two tickets to the New York Wine Experience, where their video will be screened for more than 1,000 of the event’s attendees. Though Daniela hopes to attend, the Tibaldi family may be a little preoccupied with some celebrations at home, namely, the birth of Monica's baby boy.

"The only problem is that Monica’s boyfriend is a winemaker … from Barolo," Daniela joked. "So the first word of my nephew must be 'Roero.' I have to teach him that word! Aunt duty."

Also bringing pride to Italy is the second-place winner, "It Takes a Family—and a Village—to Make Wine." Follow along with Michela Adriano and her family as they share a day in their life in San Rocco Seno d'Elvio, a small village outside Barbaresco. From a rooster's wake-up call at 5:45 a.m. through an evening feast in the village square, you'll end up feeling like you're part of the family.

Following the top two, this year's group of finalists truly represents the world of wine. From Somló, Hungary, comes the third-place video, "Sometimes You Fall in Love—with a Hill," the story of a man who wasn't born into the wine world, but has built his life around it nonetheless. Fourth place was split between a sommelier-led tour of Lebanon and a vinous spoof of "Cheap Thrills" by Sia; the former will likely inspire you to travel the world while the latter may have you dancing around your living room. The rest of the finalists include a charming wine-shop love story ("In Vino Amorem"), "chainsaw surgery" to save a grapevine, 225 years of Paso Robles wine history and more. Watch all the winners, finalists and honorable mentions—and remember, it's never too early to start thinking about your entry for next year!

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