Jarno’s motivation has always been sky high, as a quick look through his CV makes clear. As with most of his contemporaries, he started his career in karts and won three CIK–FIA world championships. But it was not just the success which Jarno enjoyed which marked him out as a young driver to watch; his passion and dedication were clear from the very start. “In the end I don’t believe I chose to race a kart – I believe I was chosen because I was born with that passion,” he says.
Sometimes, success in karting does not translate into single-seaters but there was no danger of Jarno failing to make the grade and he won the 1996 German Formula 3 Championship in his first year of car racing. That opened a door to Formula 1, with the small Minardi team, for 1997.
“My career before Formula 1 was quick and cheap because I had no money or anyone to back me financially,” Jarno jokes. “It happened quickly; I had the chance and took it. Instead of entering by the main door, I came in by the back door and I had to really work hard to make my way up through the field and get a good car.”
Jarno repaid Minardi’s faith immediately, showing impressive pace in a team which struggled at the back of the grid. He moved to Prost halfway through the 1997 and was, incredibly, fighting for victory in Austria until an engine failure robbed him. “If you look back at my career, my first victory could have come in Austria in my first year but I was unlucky,” he says. “I took another path, starting from the bottom and slowly reaching the top.”
By the end of that season, it was clear Jarno was a genuine Formula 1 talent and in subsequent seasons he fought gallantly at Prost, Jordan and then Renault before finally getting a car worthy of his talents. Despite never enjoying the fastest cars on the grid, Jarno earned respect by claiming front–row starting positions and podiums; generally over–achieving considering the machinery available to him.
In 2004 he was given a more competitive Renault and duly delivered his first win with a sublime drive from pole in Monaco. He adds: “It’s a dream for any driver to win his first Grand Prix and the way I won, dominating both qualifying and the race, gave me a lot of satisfaction.”
Jarno showed his determination also outside racing world when he decided to acquire Podere Castorani and make it shine.
The earliest records of this estate go back to the year 1793.This gorgeous property was part of Lady Adelina Ruggeri De’ Capobianchi’s dowry when she married the illustrious Raffaele Castorani, who’s fame came from his years as a teacher at the Sorbonne in Paris and mostly from the development of the first cataract eye surgery. Ever since, the estate has been known as Villa Castorani.
Later, another famous person acquired the estate, Antonio Casulli, born in Sardinia. Later, he became an International Law professor at the University of Naples, and went on to teach in Tokyo where he even earned the respect of the emperor Hirohito. It was during this time that the estate of Villa Castorani really developed with the acquisition of over 490 acres of cultivated land. After Casulli’s death, the entire estate was divided, and thus began its decline. The Villa was abandoned and it seemed like all the wine making traditions were lost.
The decline continued for many years, until 1999, when the estate’s history and luster of yore were brought back to life thanks to the tenacious will of a group of friends, now business partners in the company. Each member personally supervises all the phases required for wine production: from the loving cultivation of the grapes, to the very careful harvest, the vinification, the promotion and the commercialization of the products. The absolute obstinacy, typical of the people from the Abruzzi region, the respect for the traditions and mostly the uncompromising pursuit of the best products, give Villa Castorani’s wines the best character obtainable.
The bottles of wine from the estate tell a beautiful story of passion, tradition and quality. Villa Castorani lies in an ideal setting: in the municipality of Alanno, in the province of Pescara, between the Majella national park and the nearby Adriatic sea. Sitting at 350 meters above sea level, it enjoys ideal sun exposure and night winds, and consequently, great thermal range. All of it gives the wines their unique and precious character.
Today, like in the past, everything rotates around the beautiful Villa Castorani. The estate now sits on 75 acres of luxuriant and uncontaminated countryside.
The grapes cultivated here are mostly red Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and whites Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Malvasia, Cococciola, Pecorino and Passerina. There is also an area where new experimental varietals are tested. The average age of the vineyards is over 30 years. All the area is cultivated following strict organic guidelines: neither chemical pesticides nor fertilizers are used.
Jarno is one of the first partners of CellarVerse and he signed personally 12 special bottles that will be sold on our website for Christmas, don’t miss the opportunity.