The Befana’s* Newsletter
The Befana’s Newsletter
*[In Italy the feast of Epiphany is “personified” by la Befana, an imaginary, witch-like crone who brings gifts to good children and (sweet) “coal” to those who have misbehaved].
I always like to be a little bit different, so the Befana’s feast is one I identify with… and that is why I am only now taking the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year, assuming you have survived the massive beanfeasts during the recent holiday period!
I just have one or two TEENSY-WEENSY bits of news to tell you about:
Cantrina has also gained a foothold in MonteCarlo, for now just with our most extreme wine, the ERETICO 2007… I am increasingly convinced that unique products really do make a difference in the marketplace and so one should always be prepared to TAKE A GAMBLE!
Speaking of which, I spent a couple of days in the Principality of Monaco in December of last year, where I had a chance to visit the Cellar of the Hôtel de Paris… I got down on my knees in front of the well-locked “shrine” containing the various vintages of Château Pétrus and in the end I also tossed a coin into the fountain, dreaming of being able – one day – to create such wonders myself!!! (Only an absolute nutcase like me could think such a thing!). In the meantime, though, I managed to leave samples of my wines with the sommeliers of some of Monte Carlo’s most prestigious restaurants.
There are new experiences and new arrivals in Cantrina’s product range, too: I take every opportunity I can to talk about our production zone and I wanted to be able to offer one of this area’s noblest products: Olive Oil. I carried out a selection (at the Cooperative of San Felice del Benaco) of D.O.P. (P.d.O) olive oils. I was uncertain between two products with quite different scent and taste characteristics, so I decided to opt for 100 bottles of one type and 100 of the other… I called them Verve (more lively and fruity) and Silk (more elegant). This was the splendid idea of my friend and great oil connoisseur Angelo Peretti; I’m only sorry that journalist Andreas Maerz (one of the major experts in this field) wasn’t there to help me choose between them.
Here are the two labels, in keeping with our other “open-minded exercises de style”.
The Grappa del Poeta is another new product: Pilzer has distilled the pomace from the 2008 Nepomuceno for Cantrina , which I collected earlier on today. My dear friend Eugenio gave me an idea for the label: a tribute to the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, one of the iconic figures from our area. The poem was written by Eugenio Farina and is really moving; I trust that the grappa will display the same sensibility and love.
The Pinot Nero Rosé… I am happy to inform you that, in spite of the difficult 2010 vintage, we have made an excellent rosé: our second edition of this wine, which is already in bottle and which will be released in February or March.
Among the other curiosities, it is my pleasure to tell you that we have now been listed by the Michelin-starred Da Vittorio Restaurant at Brusaporto (Bergamo).
What else can I add?
This Befana will soon take up her broom once again and fly to New York, in the hope that sooner or later, if I knock long and hard enough on the doors of Manhattan, the Big Apple will eventually let our wines in! But that’s another story… I’ll give you an update when I get back.
BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE FOR A NEW YEAR FULL OF HIGH SPIRITS…