The evening is damp, I walk and while I shrug, not to feel cold and I drag myself back home: I think of him; I think the wine.
I think of the bottle that I would like to see served, I think of that magnificent wine I dream of drinking for so many years and that I will never drink.
They are dreams of childish zombies and I have to go back to reality: I come home and just like many other little men, in a world of routine and silence I let my dog down.
I love him and I take him for a long walk: it does not matter if it’s cold: what matters is that I’m about to finish my duties towards this day and towards him my only true friend.
I go back home and finally the evening ends: I worked, I lived, I endured.
Now it is enough now the mask of a good citizen: now let’s give free rein to what is most perverse and depraved in us! We give vent to our passions.
I open the door of the storage room used as a cellar and finally
the zombie that is in me comes out.
Inside there are only me, there are only my love in them: even the saint of my partner inside lets me enter a world where I am and nobody else.
I want to uncork a bottle! Since drinking wine is a subsequent pleasure, first there is the choice and reasoning that leads to it: to attenuate craving with reasoning.
Well it is in these moments that I think back to the most incredible things that I drank and of which I have never spoken to you.
I do not want to make a list of labels but to tell you some stories, intersecting them with each other you will have a tapestry of Zombies life.
Until now I have never talked about Sophia.
Sweet and seductive Sophia, with her I felt alive and composed unnecessary poems.
Sofia is a changeable wine, she is a beautiful, unreachable and voluble woman who continually changes her being and nobody knows her soul if not after so much effort.
Sofià and so water and soap!
Sofia was my first Natural wine and was one of the two wines that gave birth to Zombiwine!
Once upon a time, I had heard a few weeks talking about a small Roman punk wine shop: Les Vignerones.
They told me that he was a guru of natural wines and that he had rare and precious things, wines never heard before, and esoteric things never seen before.
At the time I was beginning to be interested in this vision of wine and I had already drunk a bit ‘of things but without really understanding the essence or at least understand the profound reasoning behind it.
I open and close parenthesis: after spending so much time wandering among the Taliban of pure naturist wine, and the Classics who want classic wines, I decided not to take another position: I am convinced that the truth is in the middle and this means I have not still found
Anyway, on that summer afternoon, I decided to go and see who this Les Vignerones was since I had decided to buy a wine I had drunk a few bottles of: Fiano di Donchisciotte (Zampaglione – Callitri) or fiano produced by his nephew: Sancho Panza.
After having found this airy shop in that of Trastevere (two rooms only one wine and one very rare beers) and after a long acquaintance with Antonio, he convinces me to buy this bottle: Sophia of a strange cellar and that I had never heard Cantina Giardino.
Well this has changed my life:
Cantina Giardino does not own a vineyard: it has many, very small scattered throughout Irpinia; and not only does it have many but it also leases others.
A melting pot of ground tissues where old vineyards, semi-retired, bear fruit too entrenched to be developed but in the hands of a shaman turn into something unique and unrepeatable.
This was the description of this winery, which produced Sophia: a white wine that changed its vine every year! (absurd I thought) and that was vinified in huge terracotta amphorae. practically the earthy version of Gravner.
Needless to say, the bottle came into the house and that, for a while, I went to see it every night, trying to decide if it was time or no time to open it.
Meanwhile, I was studying.
What was their philosophy and I started to hear them by phone because I had discovered their Instagram.
I was intrigued by this Irpina winery that did something that I had never been able to understand or see before.
I was curious to understand and in the meantime I was taking the first steps to understand myself what and how I wanted to communicate.
You see it was a process in hand: Zombiwine became real while that bottle matured in the cellar and I tried to figure out what to do with it.
First I had to understand that it means natural oenology or at least what it did not mean!
And in the meantime August was approaching.
One night I was hungry!
That craving that desire!
I screamed at the full moon! it is his time; I do not even remember what I had dinner with (I think with a sea bass the size of a penguin) and me and my sweet half (holy woman believe me) opened it!
We opened Sophia and we were infected by the disease, just as one of my slogans is spread the disease (we spread the contagion) we were infected by this different way of understanding the wine.
Torbido without any filtering or without any clarification, fermented with only spontaneous yeasts, a wine that was too much.
Too good, too tannic, too drinkable, too fresh, too new, too old: I discovered that the wines macerated on the skins I liked very much and that all those who had drunk until then were …. Different.
But drinking it was not enough.
I had a need.
I wanted to see what happened in that cellar! I wanted to go to them to Ariano Irpino to find them: and incredibly Cantina Garden told me: “Come here”.
wake up early, car and deserted highway like a river that plunges into silence.
The hills of Irpinia, the valleys, those places that slowly become memory and when you find yourself you remain in silence.
The Cellar is not in a garden is on a mountain top: in a place that I sincerely doubted to be able to catch up with my Micra that is not a car made for the streets Irpinia! But in the end that morning I find myself in the temple of Antonio and Daniela de Gruttola.
A cellar that is not the laboratory of an alchemist: the stills, powders or strange machines are totally absent; a cellar that looks like the cave of a druid, where everything is governed by dozens of wooden barrels (made with the strangest essences) and by two enormous terracotta amphorae.
The cultural, emotional and even cognitive shock is enormous: also because the work they are doing is so delicate that to write an idiot like me has difficulty.
I Explain .
Antonio and Daniela coordinate a team of six members; who did not start doing this job yesterday; they’ve been doing it long before Cantina Giardino was born; they were born officially to be able to buy those very old vines that were being explanted.
They were born to safeguard something that future adults should not take for granted: the Campanian and Italian ampelographic heritage.
The very small parcels of vineyards, patches of land sometimes with very few plants, become wines that from time to time end in barrels, amphorae and get married.
Vines and plants that in some cases are reminiscent of the twenty-year talks are so ancient: and a plant that has heard flying warplanes is a historical heritage: Antonio in his silence makes that plant speak through the work it does.
Believe me, tasting those whites directly from the barrels, from the amphorae and talking with them, gave me a morning of pure magic.
And that morning in August I decided not to stop, I decided to tell the stories of wine and especially of men who still believe in it; Daniela is proud to knead bread with wine must as the ancient Romans did in a tradition two thousand years old.
This is natural wine in my mind
It is wine with a true story behind it; wine that is not embellished with useless processes; good wine to drink. So accordingly at the end of this article let’s get rid of the tooth.
After a thousand and four hundred words spent on a wine vinified in amphora and each year is made with a different vine, after drinking and tasting, Fiano, Greco di Tufo, Coda di Volpe and Aglianico in state of art I need to drink a any other wine? Well yes: I do not want to deprive myself of making a choice in my cellar; I do not want to say these things yes and these do not.
Or even better, I still do not want to do it now: there are too many wines I want to drink and too many that I want to take to get a position; as of today just like a zombie that moves slowly and devours anything it meets I decided to taste everything.
Of the zombies I want to keep that critical non-critical capacity or first taste and then express an opinion.
If I had not done so I would never have bought my sweet, sweet and very sweet Sophia.
If you liked it and leave, leave your email so you will be notified of each new article!