Here’s a video (above) of grape grower and winemaker Luca Ferraro’s indoctrination into the Vini Montello e Colli Asolani brotherhood (the confraternita).
Last week, the editors of La Tribuna di Treviso, the Treviso province daily paper, covered the event, noting that “eno-technician Luca Ferraro completed his studies at the Istituto Cerletti in Conegliano and since 2008 has been co-owner, together with his father [Danilo], in an important grape growing estate.”
As I watched the video, one of the things that struck me was the solemnity of the ceremony and the ritualistic garb.
When we open a bottle of Luca’s Prosecco — or any other Prosecco, for that matter — we often forget how these wines represent a winemaking tradition that stretches back for more than a century.
The school were Luca studied enology was founded in 1876, less than two decades after the birth of the Italian monarchy and the first time Italy was united as a country (following centuries of foreign domination).
The cape, the hat, and the feather — not to mention the saber — may seem archaic to some. But just by following the ceremony and observing the expressions on the faces of the other members of the brotherhood, you can tell that the ritual is invested with great meaning for all those present, including Luca, one of its five new members.
These are not growers who cultivate grapes on the flatlands of the Piave river plains in fields where crops like wheat and corn were once grown. No, these are hillside growers who believe wholeheartedly that their grapes and their wines are an expression of their culture, their history, and their land.
Click image to enlarge.