Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Etna Harvest 2013 Report from Salvo Foti & "I Vigneri"

This just in from my winemaking friend Salvo Foti. Salvo is bringing in the last of the harvest from his Etna vineyards and this is a report, word for word, from his letter. Sharing it with you, dear reader.

"We grow and harvest our vines with smiles on our faces and the hope of a good
year. We do this with passion and modesty, knowing that we are part of nature and
the miracle of life.

The first day of harvesting begins with the sun shining down on the grapes, offering
an intense shade of red – the fruit ready to be harvested with that yearly jubilation
of words, commotion, men, women and children, rather than with callous and
immoral machinery that could never appreciate the touch, the contour, and that
healthy, juicy charm of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante.

We have made a bygone choice as modern men. We use our hands for everything
we do, so that our humanity can become part of what we make – our wine.

The grapes make their way to the winery, our antique Palmento, built with the
sacrifice, strength, expertise and knowledge of our ancestors, generations who are
no longer with us in body, but whose souls are right in front of us – those black lava
stones, wisely chiseled and shaped to create the melting pot in which the mystery of
winemaking takes place during every harvest. Inside the Palmento, life explodes in
a primordial chaos of power and vitality!

Ignoring and disobeying senseless laws – drafted with indifference towards
mankind and nature – we continue our venerable and unchanged work as vigneri,
in our fatigue and in our joy, as captains of the choices we have made.

Our opposition to the darkly obtuse logic of “progression-regression” carries us
here, once again, to our Etnean Palmento, in the fine company of our antique
barrels made from chestnut from Mt. Etna. Year after year, we share this hard work
and the love for our forefather’s methods, movements and dances. Here, we create
a true Etnean wine.

The dense, sweet juice of our grapes – liquid offered by time-honored vineyards, the
Muntagna, and our wine culture – will slowly become wine, life, work and
prosperity for all of us.

Un vino illegale per gente vera!
Illegal wine for real people."
- salvo foti

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