Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Intervista nel Futuro
From the 23rd Century, near a place in Tuscaremma, called Montalcinapaia.
Q. Montalcinapaia has changed, so it seems. What is the most important change, in your opinion, in wine in the last 200 years?
A. For one, we are a dry area, very arid now. Ever since the Wind War of 2059-69, this area has relied more on natural species for their survival skills than for their elegance. But we have found out that if we work in this minimal environment, we can coax a lot out of the soil.
Q. Tell us in the past a little about the wine you are making in your time?
A. Interesting that you would ask, because right now we are seeing an interest in bringing back Sangiovosso to the vineyards. After Castello Banfi was leveled by a tornado ( see picture) and the community decided to establish a wind farm on the property once owned by Banfi, Antinori and Argiano, the area had been left to go wild. The earthquake cycle of 2101-12 also contributed to re-arranging the area. The whole time we had stories of the robots who worked on the windmills telling us about a vine that would grow up on the posts of the giant rotors. But because the area is so hot we rarely send humans out to investigate in the spring and the summer.
Anyway, we have been making wine from Frappatocino and Nero D’Avellino, because they seemed more suitable for the region. But we are investigating these wild vines from around the ruins of Banfi’s property.
Q. Any other developments in the past 200 years or so?
A. This area now has been active in growing the blue Agave. We can concentrate the spirit and use it sparingly. Since we learned that drinking more than 2 glasses a day of red wine was harmful, in the 22nd century, we stepped back from overproducing wine and have sought to supplement our farming and our diet with more appropriate products.
Q. Agave, that was pretty drastic wasn’t it, getting a succulent from Central America to replace a large part of your wine production?
A. You mean like the tomato and the potato? We were searching for sustainable spirits and agave was best suited to our world. We were very fortunate that the Sicilian grapes did well in Tuscany and that we were able to save them before Southern Italy was forever altered.
Q. Back in 2000, there was a lot of talk about the so called International varieties, Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, that kind of thing. What has happened to them in your world?
A. When the Chaîne des Puys came back to life and erupted in 2076 in France, that changed everything for Bordeaux and Burgundy. And then 10 years later when Duppacher Weiher spewed, that brought Germany to their knees. We have actually been very lucky in Central Italy. Southern Italy, that is another story. What happened though was that winemakers and farmers were looking for crops to grow that were self sustaining and didn’t need fertilizers and little water.
Q. And what role does science play in winemaking these days?
A. It’s very important. Now we need ways to help the plant work on their own and since enology met nanology it has been a great boost. Now we can develop the grapes, via nanology, to notify the winery when they are ready to be harvested. We harvest berry by berry and so our yields have not really suffered. But because we are now a world population of 63 billion, the demand is still great. Another development is the birth of new fruits that we can harvest in space, the extra-terroir-estrial varieties, like Vitus Veronellus and Vitus Iacuccius. These have been heaven sent. The best (and now, the only) Riesling comes from a space station that circles the moons of Venus, from a variety called Vitus Theisus-Shiroshekar.
Q.What about the idea of alcohol in culture and society?
A. What a strange question. I'm not sure I understand the context. With the world being almost 2/3 Hinduslam and meat eating and alcohol seen as part of a life style for the privileged, this has had some social repercussions. Getting around on the land hover vehicles now is seen as a quaint but particulare’ amusement for the Gigglionaires. But really now alcohol isn’t taboo with the eastern religions, it’s more a problem that the governments still try and tax and regulate it, to fund their space colonization programs.
Q. If I could have brought one thing from 2008 for you, what would you have wanted?
Q. If I could give you information from 2008, what would you want to know?
A. Nothing really. We have survived the Wind War, the Tornadic era and we have skirted the Volcanic era. We have been very fortunate. But there is one mystery you might be able to clear up for us. We have these ancient bottles of wine, from the 2003, that we found at the estates where the wind farms now are. One was called Brunello and the other was called Duemilatre. Could you please tell us what those wines were?