. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: Travelers With Roots.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Travelers With Roots.

My friend Gigi says that in Italian, "Viaggiatori con radici," or "travelers with roots" is romantic yet illogical way to describe people involved in the world of wine. At his description, I had this vision of several little people going around a small globe, attached to their vineyards with a sort of elastic rope that the pulled them back to their original place after a set time.
The way I see it, the wine world is more complex than a complicated woman. It feeds on opposites; it's slow and static and yet dynamic and modern, it's based on uncontrollable variables like the weather, yet it is detailed-oriented, and requires substantial skill and knowledge. It is a world that grows and develops unbelievably slowly, yet the Vignerols never have enough time. And ultimately, it is a world with strong, solid roots, but the wine itself and the wine people have always traveled, since the time when humans started a symbiotic relation with the vines. Behind a bottle of wine, there is often a human figure that follows it; Gigi and his family are the owners of a fairly new winery called Tenuta Vitalonga, in Umbria. I've talked about him in the past, and he is a perfect example of one of these viticultural "viaggiatori;" he travels for a good part of the year, as most of the "wine people" stay home during the harvest and travel during the rest of the year to sell and promote their products. At this point, the romantic vision of the old man working from dusk to dawn in the vineyard is almost certainly long-gone, although a few wineries still exist where the owner is also everything else for the estate. Vittorio Graziano in Emilia Romagna and a few others like him around the globe are the sole proprietors of their estates, doing the harvest, vinification and bottling almost entirely alone. But for the most part, now a winery is a piece of an industry that has to be efficient, with costs that need to be covered and bottles that need to be sold. So I can imagine all these people scrambling around the globe, representing their lands and products often several thousand miles away may sometimes feel as if they never see home anymore... but they are still strongly connected to the land that shelters their lives and inevitably pulls them back to their roots.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti

No comments: