Sunday, May 09, 2021

What Italian winemakers can imbibe from their Swiss watchmaking cousins

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Unknown said...

Oh my. There is literally so much to unpack from this superior post it is difficult to know where to start. With an admittedly very broad brush, I will touch on only one of the underlying topics.

Italy. Italians. I have often wondered why as a double Irish person from one side of my family and double English from my other side I’m so smitten with all things Italian. I’m serious when I say I have spent endless hours thinking of such. My takeaway is that I’m a highly aesthetically sensitive person. Highly. I have found the Italians ( again, broad brush) to be the same. The dolce vita is in their DNA.

I have had the pleasure of traveling to Italy numerous times and am counting the days until I can again. Doing business with Italians for years, both in the states and in Italy my experience is Italians are passionate. Passionate about fine leathers, shoes from Gucci, Tod’s, Ferragamo or bespoken. Cashmere from Cucinelli, cars from Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Maserati to a Fiat Panda. Fine horology, Italians have long embraced Rolex sport watches on their wrist in the past while donning their Trussardi or other favorite brand of sunglasses.

All that said, I have also long noticed that when it came to music, wine and art there was something different. It seemed as if it was almost just a given. With 50% plus of all of the recognized historical art in the world being in Italy, art was just systematically part of Italy. When someone says David in Florence, it isn’t a person, it is a masterpiece by Michelangelo. When music is the topic, it is about La Scala, La Fenice or Teatro Massimo. They have just always, been. Vino. Vino was drank because it was safer than water centuries ago. Vino too has always just, been. In my outsiders view, too often vino, music and art may have been taken for granted, especially before Italians started traveling the world.

This I feel has turned in my adult lifetime. Italian red wine deserves a place in any discussion about the world’s finest red wines. Period. Their white wines are becoming much more serious as well in my opinion. Watchmaking and design. I have lived in a time when “ sport watches” have become much more prevalent than in my father’s of grandfather’s generation. In 1954, Rolex introduced their Submariner at Basel Watch Fair. Also in 1954 Rolex introduced their GMT watches for airline pilots in collaboration with Pan Am. Before that, in 1931 JLC introduced their iconic Reverso for Polo players in India. The ‘tool’ watch took on a serious design aspect in 1972 when AP introduced their Royal Oak sports watch designed by Gerald Genta. While not instantly popular, this stainless steel sports watch has become iconic and is still immensely popular now nearly 50 years later. Panerai with its historic Italian roots has emerged with vengeance in past 20 plus years. I, like so many within the watch world think Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo is ‘the’ watch of this century thus far and will become iconic without debate if it isn’t already. The Octo Finissimo was also designed by Gerard Genta.

Watches and wine! Italy is elbowing their way to the table of elite, and with great passion.

Tom Maresca said...

Very well and truly said, Alfonso. In my experience, when Italian winemakers have gone wrong it's been because they tried to follow the market rather than their own best instincts. "It's what the market (especially the American market) wants" has been the mantra I've heard time and again to explain an over-oaked, over-extracted wine that, when pushed, the winemaker himself admits he wouldn't drink. But when winemakers follow their heart, as when -- to cite just one of many possible examples -- Silvio Jermann created Vintage Tunina -- that's when the wine sings, and all of us happy wine bibbers sing right along with it.

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thanks, Michael. you are responsible for this post.

Thanks, Tom. Appreciate your comments and insights.

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