Friday, July 31, 2009

Visiting passionate winemakers in Friuli and Tuscany

I am just back from a few days of visit to wine producers that have been among the most interesting and rewarding since I started to show an interest in the world of wine and on which I will report in a comprehensive way in a few weeks.

I have spent my "wine holidays" mostly in Friuli not only because I believe that it is a particularly well suited area for the vine in Italy, but also because I strongly believe in the great human and professional qualities of the people of that region which is duly reflected in a good number of peculiar wine producers who are among the most inspired, rigourous and "pure" that the wine world can offer.

It is difficult to transcribe how I felt the "purity" of these artisan winemakers. Some of the words that I heard most often these days have been "natural" and "simple". These were the most common words these men and women used to describe the wine process they applied from the vineyard through the vinification process to the bottle.

"Natural" meant first of all a process where the nature and its bio-diversity are respected and where the man tries simply (easier to say than to implement...) to let the nature doing its course.

Pronounced by winemakers like (following the strict chronological order of my visits) Nicola Manferrari (Borgo del Tiglio), Enzo Pontoni (Pontoni), Michele Moschioni, Serena Palazzolo (Ronco del Gnemiz) and, not from Friuli but Tuscany, Gianfranco Soldera from Case Basse, these words have a real meaning and their wines are the proof (in many different ways, like the detailed reports of the visits will show) that all these winemakers have been pursuing a personal objective of quality without compromising to the commercial taste.

I come back from these visits with more humility, knowledge and curiosity and especially with a strong commitment to support these winemarkers and build upon the ideas, comments, suggestions that I heard all along these days to continue my research in a wine world that need people like them.