“What happened in Montalcino earlier this month was horrendous, but as bad as it was, it paled in comparison to what has been going on in the Veneto. They have virtually raped the land, stripped it of any character in pursuit of dollars. The popularization of Prosecco has had enormous effect on people, on farming, on the earth.”In review of events that have transpired in Italy this year, the perversion of Prosecco persists. Enormous growth year after year has people chasing after more and more profit, pushing the land, changing laws, reducing the Veneto to a mere factory for the whims of folks who no longer want to spend money on Champagne and sparkling wine of character.
Many of us were struck by the harshness of the act that one man perpetrated early one morning in December in Montalcino. It was horrid, indeed. But the systematic dismantling of tradition in the Veneto, from Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, on the gentle slopes that humankind has lovingly nurtured - that is tragedy of legendary proportions. Culture, tradition, quality, values - all receding like the arctic ice in the Polar zones.
following after their grandfather’s ways. Some of them found their way there in the 1970’s, young, idealistic, returning to their roots and Mother Earth.
But America and Great Britain came knocking, looking for sparkling wine alternatives to the more expensive (and drier) Champagne. And in less than a generation, a sea change, a revolution took place - the popularization of Prosecco.
“The world wrings their hands over every little fart that is made in Montalcino, but the Veneto has encountered a tsunami and no one cries out. Our collective values in Italy have genuflected to desire and desecration.”gilded walls of San Marco in Venice, were the artists prescient in their depiction of this vile act?
60 million bottles, not 60 thousand, and a culture destroyed to boot! And where are the wine writers and bloggers? Scratching around for more dirt on the Soldera incident, or rooting around the MacLean affair or the Parker sale. Little things compared to the end of an epoch.
And yet will we not see thousands of words spilled over articles with titles like “Best Buys in Bubbly for New Year’s Eve” from which Prosecco will be crowned the king of all things sparkling? A king without a robe, or a heart. Or a land.
The devil is in the details.
|Under the Doge's Palace|
written and photographed (in the Veneto) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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