If you’re planning your vacation in Italy this summer, think about Abruzzo…
After breaking away from the phalanx of wine professionals with whom I was traveling on my last day at Vinitaly in April, I had the great fortune to taste with Abruzzo winemakers Sofia and Emidio Pepe. The next morning, the earthquake struck the region in the hours before dawn, taking the lives of nearly 300 people and leaving 28,000 homeless.
You may remember Eric’s post “Aftershocks” which appeared on The Pour in the days that followed the tragedy in L’Aquila. As Eric pointed out, even though the Abruzzo wine industry wasn’t affected directly by the earthquake, the long-term impact will be drastic because 10-50% of the wine produced there is sold and consumed locally.
Above: I have always loved Emidio Pepe’s Montepulicano d’Abruzzo, made in a totally natural style. “Emidio Pepe may be even more of purist than Valentini [another one of Italy’s iconic natural winemakers],” wrote Burton Anderson in his landmark book Vino. “He crushes his grapes by foot” and “possesses not a single piece of modern equipment in his rustic winery.” Drinking these stinky elegant wines is like listening to Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty.”
Abruzzo is a pristine region of immense natural beauty. Its hills are dotted with wonderful medieval villages where life was never contaminated by the industrial progress forged during fascism.
L’Aquila (where the epicenter hit) was so named (“the eagle”) by 13th-century emperor Frederick II of Swabia who was one of the greatest falconers of his time. Dante condemned Frederick to his Inferno for being an epicurean.
If you’re considering/planning a trip to Italy this summer, think about Abruzzo.
In other news…
You can find info for Nous Non Plus shows in San Francisco (tomorrow), San Jose (Friday), and Los Angeles (Saturday) here. Hope to see you at the shows. Tracie B will be Tracie B there too! (well, just in LA)