A memorial service was held yesterday in Piazza Maria Cappellano in the historic center of Serralunga d’Alba (Piedmont) to remember and honor the life of beloved winemaker, activist, and Barolo producer Teobaldo “Baldo” Cappellano. Among those who spoke were Serralunga d’Alba mayor Luis Cabases, president of the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo Renata Salvano, Marinella Minetti, Giovanna Morganti, Marta Rinaldi (daughter of Beppe Rinaldi), and Maria Teresa Mascarello (daughter of Bartolo Mascarello). VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani — Cappellano’s friend and co-panelist in the 2008 Brunello debate — was also in attendance.
Many remembrances and tributes to Baldo Cappellano have been published since news of his passing arrived, including this excellent profile by Kevin McKenna.
In his post Wednesday, Franco remembered fondly how Cappellano once issued a press release to all the major Italian wine publications asking them not to publish scores of his wines and not to list his winery in their guides. The following is an excerpt from an interview in which Franco asked Baldo about the said press release (translation by VinoWire):
- In 1983, I asked journalist Sheldon Wasserman to not publish scores of my wines… I asked him not to make me part of a classification in which comparisons are made through divisive numerical scores that share nothing with human toil. I have not changed my mind. [My wines] are intended for a small group of friends and clients. I have a small winery that produces roughly 20,000 bottles a year. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in the freedom of information, even when it includes a negative opinion. But I think of my hills as an anarchic beach, free of inquisitors or opposing factions, and internally rich because it is stimulated by severe, watchful critics. I fight for a collective capable of expressing rural solidarity with those who have not been compensated by Mother Nature.
Vale, carissime Balde. Fare thee well. None of us can imagine a world without you.
—Franco Ziliani and Jeremy Parzen