Editorial: Cancellation of Taurasi Fair was politically motivated

Writer and scholar Luigi Metropoli is the author of Divino Scrivere. Translation by VinoWire.

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After eleven years, the Fiera Enologica di Taurasi (Taurasi Enologic Fair) has been canceled without due cause. The organizers have laid blame with decree 23, law 88/09, which prohibits the alcohol in public squares. They have canceled the event despite the fact that subsequent legislation, resolution 69837, exempts fairs from such restrictions and thus the Taurasi fair would be in accordance with the law.

According to fair organizers, however, this resolution was not sufficient and the only solution was to cancel the fair only a few days before its scheduled dates. The fair normally draws 50,000 visitors and is an important opportunity for small producers of Taurasi to show their wares.

Many continue to suspect that decree 23 was a pretext to conceal backroom political squabbles and that the cancellation of the event resulted from a power play by parties who wanted to attract attention to the weakness of local administrators. Some might call it a form of retaliation.

The Taurasi appellation is one of the greatest expressions of the Aglianico grape, one of the most ancient and most noble in Italy. And yet, few know the appellation. This is the consequence of the cultural, social, economic, and political backwardness that has crippled southern Italy and has impeded its ability for self-promotion. Taurasi has become an emblem for the South, its fruitless rivalries, and its inabilities to create the means and efficient channels to promote its riches.

Inspired by a deep love of the South, Luciano Pignataro and Divino Scrivere are protesting this situation with a petition that was delivered to Alderman Nappi of the Region of Campania on Friday, August 28 in Castelvenere (Province of Benevento) where the Grandi Vini da Piccole Vigne (Great Wines from Small Vines) conference was held on the same date. The petition calls for a new Fair Oversight Committee that will coordinate event planning beginning next year.

A number of journalists and associations have already signed and reposted the petition, including the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (Italian Sommelier Association). The authors of the petition have also conducted and posted a series of interviews nationally and internationally acclaimed wine writers.

—Luigi Metropoli

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4 thoughts on “Editorial: Cancellation of Taurasi Fair was politically motivated

  1. Pingback: The (de)criminalization of alcohol in Italy « Do Bianchi

  2. I agree that Taurasi is one of Italy’s greatest red wines, yet one of its least understood. There does need to be more promotion of this wine and the wines of Campania and other southern regiions in general. There clearly is a division between the work promoting wines of the north versus those from the south.

    But why cancel a fair based on “backroom legal squabbles” or a situation calling “attention to the weakness of local administrators?” I know some will say this is an Italian way of doing things, but I don’t buy that.

    Whatever the reason, the cancellation of this fair only hurts the work of many dedicated growers and producers in the Taurasi district.

  3. Pingback: Cancellation of Taurasi fair was politically motivated « Divino Scrivere

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