The sun inside the bottle
- Susanna Danieli
Imagine you were a wine enthusiast.
Imagine finding yourself in Langhe in October, the most amazing time to be here: the hills turn from green-ish to warm and beautiful yellow, brown and red, people are busy harvesting grapes, smells of hazelnut, chestnut and fermenting musts are all around.
Imagine a month in which the wine world take the opportunity to show off at its finest all across Italy (and definitely not far from Langhe): most notably, Milano Wine Week, in which the neighborhoods become veritable “wine districts”; then the Slow Wine Guide première, held in the breathtaking frame of Montecatini Terme; last but not least, TorinoBeveBene in Turin, an interesting showcase for the Italian and international natural wine movement.
Well, guess what? THIS wine enthusiast didn’t have a single chance to attend ANY of these events. In fact I didn’t even have the chance to step outside and, at least, enjoy the aforementioned autumn atmosphere. One can blame the attendance frequency at Pollenzo, not to mention an exam and many projects to prepare for; or else it may be true that I have a way-too-strict work ethic: in the end I simply couldn’t make it. At least I managed to send my boyfriend to some tastings to - you know - see what’s going on in order to keep updated with the latest news from the wine world.
As for me, I decided I would try to cope with the guilt I felt for letting my beloved October with its sunny days go by: so I went straight to my own cellar hoping I would find some solace. And, of course, grab a bottle to taste. Being locked inside, I definitely needed some fresh air, salt in my mouth and wind through my hair.
The sun inside the bottle: that was what I was looking for.
So, here it is: Biancoviola 2017, a blend of grillo, catarratto and grecanico, from wine producer Aldo Viola. When poured, it is as if a gentle breeze is blowing directly from Val Di Mazara in western Sicily, bringing along all the warmth and salty memories of the Mediterranean sea.
The grapes have been macerated for some time, giving the liquid this beautiful, overflowing resinous-honey look, a joy for the eye. Nose is a citrus, then iodine, then clay. Mouth is very dry but full, a sip that refreshes and enlaces the palate at the same time. A masterpiece of balance.
I have to thank producer Aldo Viola for this sudden ray of light that broke through my gloomy mood. His vineyards lie in Alcamo, province of Trapani, where he grows mainly catarratto, grillo, nero d’Avola and syrah grapes.
His approach in the field is completely organic and he uses also biodynamic practices. No chemistry, no monitored fermentations, no additives: he simply lets its wines speak for themselves and express the beauty and the truth of the land.
Good news! If you want to taste the wines of Aldo Viola and (presumably) meet him in person, you may not need to fly, or worse, jump on a train on a deadly-long journey to Sicily: you can instead share a car with your fellows and join Vini di Vignaioli in a few days!
Vini di Vignaioli is not just a wine fair: it is an encounter among the heroes of the wine, the récoltant-manipulant from Italy and France, reunited to celebrate and defend the values of the terroir and claim the right for honest and authentic wines. The tastings open to public will be held in Fornovo di Taro (Parma) on Sunday, November 4 and Monday, November 5. You can find more information on the participants and whereabouts here. Save the date and don’t miss this incredible opportunity!