Over the weekend, friend Mitch Frank, associate editor at Wine Spectator, generously sent me a preview of the April issue of the magazine and his superb profiles of Elisabetta Foradori (above) and Bruno Giacosa.
So much has been written about the wines of Bruno Giacosa but little ink has been devoted to his life, his family, and his legacy as a winemaker whose career has spanned the worst and best of times in Langa. In his article, Mitch elegantly weaves cultural context and perspective in a biography that stands apart as much for its insights as for its nitty-gritty account of the family’s recent vicissitudes.
On Foradori and her wines, Mitch travels a path seldom taken by Spectator editors, who tend to favor the wine world’s greatest hits over its in fieri evolution and revolution. I loved the way he coaxed her into speaking of the personal challenges and professional setbacks she’s faced. Where many writers have relished a glamorization of Elisabetta, he portrays her as human, all too human. His narrative invests the wines — which I love and have followed for many years now — with an intimacy that you rarely see in the boastful oenography so popular today.
As I read the stories over my early morning tea, I couldn’t help but think that both stories were about fathers and daughters. In Elisabetta’s case, a father who expired when she was still a child. In Bruna Giacosa’s case, a father whose legend still casts a long shadow across the Langa hills.
Then I set about thinking of the Italian daughters who have inherited or will inherit the vinous legacy of their fathers: Maria Teresa Mascarello, Marta Rinaldi, Gaia Gaja, the Pepe sisters, Elena Pantaleoni… They are the Atalantas of Italian wine, princesses who bear a heavy load as they tread the footsteps of kings.
Chapeau bas, Mitch! Great work…