For years, wine was a constant, if subtle, part of my life. It was a family passion that I always naturally understood and appreciated because of the initiative and tenacity of some people very close to me.
The well-known names Bianco Mimosa and Vernaccia di Pietrafitta immediately evoke specific scents and tastes for most people; but for me, they go further and bring to mind landscapes, memories of days gone by, and loved ones.
To me, Bianco Mimosa stands for a bold idea. My brother and his wife had an estate in Piedmont, Colle Manora, near Alessandria. Though the area is dominated by Barbera, with the help of expert winemakers, they managed to grow an aromatic variety, Viognier, along with other native vines, inspired by their love of the white wines of the Loire, and the grape was given a distinctive personality.
On the other hand, Vernaccia di Pietrafitta was about as traditional you could get. This age-old Tuscan wine is even mentioned in medieval historical documents and noble enough to have been served on the tables of squires and popes. It absolute fit the personality of my husband’s father, who achieved wine of extraordinary quality made on his San Gimignano lands.
I saw courage and tradition as the main traits of winemaking, a world from which I was unavoidably removed from for a while after the death of my loved ones. Though the estates changed hands, my husband and I found that it was hard to accept staying far from this world that was so full of history, age-old knowledge, refined atmospheres, excellence, and such wonderful conviviality. In fact, it was so hard that, years later, neither of us hesitated for a second before diving back into this adventure, and the spark that lit the fire was Tuscany.
Italy and France, the traditional and the new are all found in Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, reinterpretations of ancient 17th-century arias for social occasions at the court, written by Italian and French composers.