100 days of abstinence from wine, what will I find? I know where and with whom I will take the step back into the world of drinking and enjoying wine. I hope it to be illuminating. In whatever way it works out, there is so much more to the experience surrounding wine – I won’t be bored.
The Greek perspective regarding wine in Italy takes unbridled imagination. It also helps if one has been to Greece and experienced contemporary culture. My first trip to Greece, in 1977, it might as well have been 2,000 years ago, for so much is changing there. As well, in “Magna Graecia,” winemaking, wealth and world perspectives have shifted. Sicily is an epicenter.
I feel blinded by a light shined too close. I wrestle with objectivity, but know I will lose. The Greek DNA within me must take over.
Let’s start with the light. I truly believe light to be a transformative element when traveling a land. And while the light in Randazzo is different from the light of Heraklion, there is something about the way up from Catania that reminds me of a memory from a time going farther back than this one, little life.
We follow the road further up the hill, the names sounding less Italian and more Greek. Etnapolis, Olimpiadi, Basile. I start counting to ten in Greek - ένα, δύο, τρία - as if someone is waiting at a counter for me to make change in drachma, or expecting a Καλημέρα instead of a Salutamu.
And for the wine obsessed, what fecund soil is there for digging up some new ideas?
I think when this chapter is finished I will also have to go back to Greece and see it, feel it from their perspective as well. I can keep practicing my ένα, δύο, τρία for that time.
But for now Olympus can wait – Etna is calling.
written and photographed (in Greece ca.1977) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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