The event that was missing


The fact that Campania is a magic land of art, wine and good food, with its breathtaking landscapes and warm hospitality, has always been a matter of fact to me, so obvious that I thought it was to everyone! I grew up here, in Campi Flegrei, among these scents, flavors and colors, with the sea in front of me and the island of Ischia so close I could almost touch it with one finger from the balcony. Capo Miseno was our destination every time we skipped school, and the first swim of the season was always in March and strictly in our underwear! We were like that, young and carefree, there was no malice in undressing in front of our classmates, just a great desire to finally dive into the waves, when the water was still freezing cold and only for the bravest, but we all were!

The Castle of Baia, which today houses a beautiful museum with the many Roman artifacts recovered from the sunken city, the amazing Atlantis of the Mediterranean and joy of scuba divers, was only for us at that time. It housed our canoe club, and we were the only ones allowed there to load the boats on our shoulders and go down to the beach from where we would set off to explore the coast. We also had to carried them back up and they were heavy boats indeed! But we were young, with joy in our eyes and enthusiasm in our hearts and could not possibly feel the fatigue! The Mirabilis Pool, well that one I won’t even tell you about because it is indescribable, go visit it! It is the eighth wonder of the world! Positano was exactly as you see it today, the only difference being that the world did not know it yet, and without spending a fortune, every year you could renew your summer wardrobe made of “rags” and flowers.

I could go on forever, because the concentration of wonders in this Ancient, Noble, Sacred, Unique, Beautiful land is immeasurable! It was all normal for us, part of our everyday life, but I realize now that it was not at all! Everything was extraordinary, and we, who looked at the island of Capri from our high school windows, were privileged kids!  And if it is true that beauty is also in the eye of the beholder, with Campania.Wine, for once, the eyes on this wonderful region were indeed many.

“An Ancient, Noble, Sacred, Unique, Beautiful Land. The great history of wine in Italy had its birth here in Campania, on these hills, among these volcanic and sometimes dolomitic mountains, in these calderas, in the middle of this sea. And it is a glorious and beautiful story! It was here, from the port of Naples that the world’s finest bottles of wine were shipped to the courts of distant kingdoms, where good wine was a must on the tables of the aristocracy. Since the times of ancient Rome and for many centuries to come, Campania has been consecrated to Bacchus like no other land. But times changed, the art of wine was exported all over the Roman empire, here and there the disciples began to outdo the masters, Campania lost its supremacy for way too long, and everything else is history, including the devastation of phylloxera.”

It is from this assumption, taken from a previous article of mine that you can find here, (MINE and not of the journalist who copied it from me) that we need to start in order to understand the millennial history of this great land of wine, a land with over 100 indigenous grape varieties. The spotlight was turned on May 22 and 23 with the main 5 Appellations, Irpinia, Sannio, Vesuvio, Salerno and Caserta, united around a single word: Sustainability. A term very much in vogue these days for several reasons, and which is sometimes used with a meaning that in fact does not belong to it, so a quick review of its correct definition here comes in handy:

“A development model capable of ensuring the satisfaction of the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to realize their own.”

It is essential to shift the focus to future generations because the problem is all theirs, not the Planet’s. How many times have you heard that we need to leave the Planet to future generations when the problem, if anything, is exactly the contrary!  Planet Earth has been around for at least 4.4 billion years, has survived cataclysms, tsunamis, ice ages, killer asteroids, and will survive even humankind! Trust me! On the other hand, we have been around for 2 million years only, much less if we are to consider the date from the earliest forms of civilization, and that the environmental damage we are dealing with today we have done them all in the last 100 years!  Therefore, when I sometimes hear that investing in sustainability is necessary because Generation Z is demanding it, I think we are missing the point. They are the so called “Digital Natives,” fast, and environmentally conscious teenagers, very sensitive to the issue and who will soon be the end customer, the ones who spend the money to be clear, and once again we are moved exclusively by economic motivations, perhaps we do deserve extinction.

But lucky, this is not the message that has come from Campania.Wine, far from it! There was the Campania that loves Campania here, knowing that the logic of individual and niche interests will always be a losing game, and that therefore does team up with the Consortia that can only have common interests and agendas, and that finally gather as a single organism! Because markets demand volumes and quality that perhaps not even the entire regional production can provide, and that is why we need to be able to communicate and sell the whole territory, while safeguarding the kaleidoscope of differences that makes up our real wealth.

Campania.Wine has presented a wonderful land and left the task of the storytelling mainly to its extraordinary wines, with many excellent Wineries representing the whole territory, more or less. And there was more! Master Classes between the Royal Palace and the Maschio Angioino Castel with the irresistible Luciano Pignataro and Chiara Giorleo, cooking workshops, guided tours to art sites and a trip to the island of Procida, Capital of Culture 2022, crossing the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Pozzuoli, helped unfold a story that was rich, intense, tight, and full of authentic emotions. A narration concentrated in little over two days, but one that has managed to forever bewitch journalists, bloggers, winelovers, occasional visitors and tourists from all over Italy and beyond. If this is just the beginning, I firmly believe that what I found to be obvious only to those who, like me, grew up here, will finally become increasingly so to the rest of the world as well over time! A great celebration indeed, and most definitely “A good first take!” Keep going this way, my beloved land, and such winning team must not be change, because united we stand, divided we fall!

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