Wine wizards: there are those among us who still believe

In the days leading up to the (unfortunately unavoidable) appointment at Vinitaly, my inbox is literally assaulted (like that of any journalist) by a series of pressing invitations to visit the stands of wineries and winery consortia at the fair.

The lesser known the wineries, the more the quality of their wine needs to be demonstrated — that is to say, when quality, from the get go, is not considered optional with respect to the winery’s ability to market the wine and amaze the writer with special effects that trump the contents of the bottle. Adjectives become more and more imaginative and hyperbole is squandered recklessly.

Even as we prepare to attend a Vinitaly like this one — the first in the (real) era of crisis — the world of Italian wine has not understood that it needs to change its tone and that what seemed to work and what seemed comprehensible (was it really?) ten years ago, now appears pathetic, excessive, and absolutely passé.

The most compelling proof of such ostentation arrived in the form of an invitation that I would like to bring to your attention, although I will omit any element that would reveal the identity of the winery in question and the public relations firm that produced this masterpiece.

The year is 2009 and there are still those among us who believe in “wine wizards”: the warlocks of wine, the potentially famous enologist/magicians who enjoy friendly relations with the editors of wine guides. With their magic wand, they have the Midas touch and whatever they taste and blend turns to gold.

    On the occasion of Vinitaly 2009, the winery X invites you to visit its stand (Pavillion X, Stand X) to be THE FIRST to taste its wines produced in collaboration with its new winemaker Riccardo Cottarella and its new vintages of “classic wines.”

    For more information, contact the Public Relations firm X.

    The young but well-established winery X crosses paths with the “great wiseman” of the world of wine, Riccardo Cotarella. A blend of history and experience and a symphony from the moment of their first encounter. The goal of its partnershiop with Riccardo Cotarella aims high: it hopes to win over the critics of Italy and — and more importantly — critics across the planet. Cotarella is considered a “number One”! One of the most highly regarded and revered winemakers in our country.

    Many wineries in Italy — and even in France — have taken advantage of his consulting. His year of experience and his high level of professionalism, combined with his knowledge of a wide range of terroirs, allow him to produce prestigious and elegant wines — thanks also to the work of the individual winery’s enologists.

    The X family is the owner of one of Italy’s youngest wineries (on the market for only 7 years). The authors of this “miracle” are the X brothers. Still very young, they completed their studies in a field outside of winemaking. They are able to fulfill their project with character by creating an elite winery from nothing and taking it to the forefront of the wine industry, on the level of much more historic and prestigious wineries. They are listed in all of the most prestigious Italian wine guides.

Do people really still believe in the magical powers of the wine wizards, their creativity in the vineyard and especially in the cellar? Do they believe that their imagination can save — as if through some magic spell — the world of wine at a time when it is going through a crisis more moral than financial?

—Franco Ziliani


3 thoughts on “Wine wizards: there are those among us who still believe

  1. Franco:

    Very well written. Some of these producers are like the alchemists of old who thought they could manufacture gold.

    They need to understand that what is important is the work in the vineyards which is then transformed in the cellar. Taste the wines and then see what you have.

    Maybe some of the wines aren’t that good, leading the wizards to try to get you to buy them or write about them based on other things, such as marketing or a name on a bottle.

  2. Pingback: Ramontalcinos say no to Merlot « Do Bianchi

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