Abruzzo Winery Wins Top Honors

There, I’ve written a title that sounds journalistic. It probably won’t happen again.

German publisher Meininger has named Cantina Tollo the best cooperative winery in Europe. Cantina Tollo is in the Abruzzo.

The Abruzzo has traditionally been a place from which jugs of cheap Montepulciano d’Abruzzo came to American. Then there was yet another earthquake, then “The American” and now a cooperative winery that beats out the French, Germans, and the fine wines of Chianti and Piemonte. What next?

(Perhaps the judges were influenced by the picture in the upper left of the Cantina Tollo website. I am a pig too. I like it. A slender wine glass nestled between two of those “ample” breasts pornographers like to talk about will make me thirst any time. So sue me.)

What makes Cantina Tollo interesting is the cooperative part. In the US, the word “cooperative” is reviled, especially by the political right wing. “Nobody gonna drink no Communist wine in these states, ya hear!” Nope, we love big companies who hold sway over the population and own their senators outright and make cheap crap.

But listen up, talking about the cooperative:

The farmers own little land individually, partly because of the nature of the countryside, and partly due to family histories and external events. Every grower ekes out his existence on these small patches of ground, working all out. Here lies Cantina Tollo’s main strength : intensive care of the vineyard rests in the hands of those most concerned with the results. At the Cantina the day of the harvest is decided on area by area and grapes delivered to the Cantina. Here they are vetted load by load and sent on their way to their own pressing line. That’s how wine is made, the grapes are given the name of the wine before they are pressed, each lot being assigned its own cycle and process. The wine is subject to only physical processes as wine is a living, delicate substance that must be handled without artifice. ~ Vinitalia: Beyond the confines of the Abruzzo

Isn’t it romantic to think about “intensive care of the vineyard rests in the hands of those most concerned with the results” instead of gross profits?

Oddly, when I registered my Italian presence with the local constabulary last time in Fivizzano, the guy would only talk about the fame of Abruzzesi Earnest and Julio Gallo.

The grass is always greener…


Abruzzo Winery Wins Top Honors originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Sep 09, 2010 © .

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