Though adopted by Swedish parents,
learned as a child that his biological father was
Italian. Thus began his journey in finding his father
and his desire to embrace his Italian heritage. As an
adult, he eventually succeeded in meeting his father and
has since participated in many family visits to Italy. Among the
many things he learned about his patriarchal roots was
that his grandfather was a wine-grower in Palermo,
Sicily. He was told that the wine had been bottled with
the family name Lo Cicero and that the family had moved
to Tuscany. This is where Michael ultimately found his father Marcello
working as a pharmacist and their conversations often focused on wine.
A few years ago Michael purchased a
small vineyard between Pisa and Siena. It is run by
Sorelle Palazzi. They are organic
farmers who began the vineyard in 1973 in the small
village of Morrona di Terricciola in Chianti. The farm's
total of 24 hectares includes nine hectares of olive
groves and eleven hectares of vine growing.
In 2013, Michael joined Mikael
Christiansson in establishing Picky Drinks, which
launched his wines in the Swedish market. Located in the
Old Town of Stockholm, the office is extremely modest: a
table, an armchair in one corner and a cozy kitchen, a
bit like a student apartment. But then down a steep,
whitewashed staircase is a basement with tall wax
candles, a robust wooden table, and wine from floor to
ceiling. Under the name of Collezione Lo Cicero, Michael
sells two red wines - Cin Cin Chianti! and Cin Cin
Brachetto d'Acqui! He refers to himself as a wine
ambassador, describing this side project as a tribute to
his Italian heritage. He is proud to say that his family's
traditions live on.
Above: The wine growers at Sorelle
Palazzi with Michael's wife Catharina and daughter
Ellen in the far left corner
On the left is
Michael with daughter Ellen & on the right he talks
with the Palazzi nephew Guido
The labels for the bottles are made
by his daughter Ellen, who graduated from Central St.
Martin's, an art and design school in London. They
immediately conjure up the idea of classic film history
with Michael dressed as death in Ingmar Bergman's "The
Seventh Seal." Very apropos!
His long-time interest in wine has
grown mainly in connection with his interest in food. He
says when he's on location, he doesn't usually stay in a
hotel but rather an apartment so he can cook. He enjoys
going to the market and picking out his own fresh foods.
He confesses he stays away from meat but cooks a lot of
fish and pasta.