My name is Fabio and I want to talk to you about wines, both as Vino Nostrum’s sommelier and as a wine lover, though these could be considered the same thing. When it comes to wines my ideas are clear and my vision is sharper than my sight. For me it begins and ends with taste and in between lie nature, tradition, history, varietal, appellation and soul.
I’m still not exactly sure how the folks at Vino Nostrum actually stumbled upon me, but I joined them with the enthusiasm of a teen footballer who signs for a top club. It was a huge opportunity to show and tell, with words and wines, what contemporary wine is or should be. Vino Nostrum gave me the opportunity to gather a portfolio of growers who end up sharing values.
The wineries I want to work with are good for those who like to drink, but they should also have a story and have something real, representing the identity of a place and its people. Their wines tell of soil and soul, of grapes and men.
Some appellations are the aristocracy of Italian wine, some were once popular but hit hard by scandals, or even harder by the industrial boom. Sometimes you scratch everything about the appellation and go straight to where the vineyards are. And when the deluge is global warming and industrial production, it makes sense you often end up seeking the elevated, as well as well exposed, places.
“The earth, the earth, the earth, endless times the earth”. – Gino Veronelli
Some of these people work the land of their fathers, or of their ancestors in a tradition dating back centuries while others came from abroad to restore endangered traditions on the slope of dormant volcanoes or in search of uncontaminated land for a fresh start.
Quite a few escaped from the city to find shelter in the countryside to become one with nature. Some have been betrayed by their own family, but luckily their wines were picked up by the right people to help them survive and begin from scratch in a brilliant display of will and soulpower. In most of these vineyards, on a silent and windy day, you can almost hear the echo of the lesson of the late Gino Veronelli, “The earth, the earth, the earth, endless times the earth”.
The path to greener pastures is often long and winding and, conversely, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Watch out for the many Trojan horses being built by trend-exploiting companies, research, go to the source and taste, taste, taste. Wine is not only about pleasure, but the pleasure in telling their stories, is all mine.