The dream continues: a little peek at excellence.
» Enosis Meraviglia.
The dream continues: a little peek at excellence.
Turning left on the road that leads from Fubine to Cuccaro, Monferrato, one is immediately faced with the spectacular sight that is the sixteenth-century farmhouse that is Enosis; the harmony of these vineyards, colors and architecture so beautiful as to take the breath away and where the enchanted air bewitches the senses.
The best, of course, is yet to come and is found within these walls – a true university of wine, with avant-garde laboratories and state-of-the-art technology; classrooms dedicated to learning, to the story of man intertwined with that of the vine and to the beverage whose origins are the grape.
And if the occasion is a seminar with jesters of the highest rank, starting naturally enough with Danato Lanati, the world-renowned enologist, the fact that one will leave the encounter infinitely wise is a given.
The occasion is a very special birthday: 10 years since the opening of Enosis Meraviglia and 25 years of the Enosis project overall, to which Lanati has dedicated his entire professional life and his very existence. And he would do it all over again, a hundredfold, if it were necessary. “I remember it as if it were yesterday – he noted while introducing the argument for the day entitled ‘Libare humanum est’ – my very first visit to these hills, together with my parents. I was eight years old and we had arrived from Voghera because my father wanted to go hunting. I went running in the vineyards and for the first time in my life I saw these clusters of grapes, almost ripe, that reminded me of an upside-down pyramid. There and then, I decided there was nothing else I could do in life but study this fruit and the wine from which it was extracted.
In public, Lanati may play the court jester yet, in reality, he is somewhat coy and quiet. The bright lights are not for him, and he shuns the spotlight. However, when be talks about the vines, the harvests and of wine itself, there is an inner light in him that illuminates his whole being. He has been a true Eno-star for many years now, but it seems of little importance to him. He prefers to talk about wine as if it were food, culture. As if it were life itself -- its story embedded in the land and its people.
In light of this, the love that Donato Lanati feels for Monferrato is absolute: “I have travelled all over the world and seen many wonderful and splendid things, but nowhere on earth is as beautiful as my Monferrato”, he has said in a previous interview. A little sorrow or regret would, perhaps, be understandable given the fact that, despite praiseworthy attempts and occasional exceptions, we, in this country, persevere with a rather provincial and individualistic approach to organization and structure rather than adopting more nationwide systems, therefore hampering our winegrowing areas to position themselves as appealing and alluring in an international context.
Among the guests present at the seminar/party was a large representation from the Kazakhstan and Georgian authorities, countries with a wine tradition stretching back thousands of years and with whom Lanati has worked long and hard at the highest level to contribute decisively to the reorganization and re-launching of the best wines from those lands on the international scene.
So much so that the guest of honor for the day, David Magradze, archbishop of the monastery at Alaverdi-Kaketi joked during a toast: “Danato Lanati is a true Georgian, and we will never be able to thank him enough”.
Speaking of clowns and court jesters, it would be remiss not to mention the other contributions to the working day: beginning with Duccio Canestrini, the illustrious anthropologist who regaled the assembled company with a speedy but absorbing historical discourse (with the help of multimedia) on the subject of wine, art, myth and ethnography. The ties between ecology and gastronomy were instead celebrated by Enrico Bartolini, the chef from the two star Michelin restaurant, ‘Ristorante Severo’, who proposed various interesting sensory experiments, along with several small delicious morsels prepared on the spot.
Then it was Alessandro Garofalo’s turn, “failed nuclear physicist”, as he defined himself in his humorous introduction, in the sense that in his job he is always busy with innovating new products in the business world, and always with excellent results. His task was to ‘duet’ with Lanati, inspired by an absolute genius of the past, Leonardo Da Vinci, in a temporary, but in no way irreverent, juxtaposing of the two great spirits of innovation; that of Leonardo and that of Donato Lanati. Finally, it was Lanati who reminded us: “In Italy there are around 6 thousand enologists, and 150 thousand people of varying degrees who talk about and write about wine. But there are also 9 million people, perhaps more, who are interested in wine. It is they that we need to engage with, in order to expand and widen the market, insisting on the curative potentialities of drinking appropriately and drinking well, and pointing out the enormous benefits to health and quality of life”. ( Ettore Grassano )
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