Today, the world mourns the loss of one of Italy’s greatest winemakers, Teobaldo Cappallano, producer of Barolo, co-founder of the Vini Veri (Real Wine) movement, steadfast defender of traditional winemaking practices, and an untiring activist devoted to the cause of vino secondo natura, “wine by means of nature.” In October 2008, Cappellano and VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani were panelists in the heated Brunello Debate, held at the University of Siena. In a live webcast (and in a subsequently archived link), countless Italian wine writers, pundits, and bloggers have admired and applauded Cappellano’s impassioned plea to the opposing panelists, imploring them not to promote the use of international varieties in traditional Italian appellations where indigenous grapes are used. “In my view, provincialism in this case,” he said, “is a positive thing: it is the reason why our wines are different from those made elsewhere and it is the reason why consumers buy our wines.”
Teobaldo Cappellano was 65.
Editor’s note: next week, VinoWire will post a profile of Teobaldo Cappellano and reflections on the impact his passing will have on the world of Italian wine.