Above: Isabella Pelizzatti Perego of the Ar.Pe.Pe. winery (left) with Luca at the fair.
At the beginning of the month, grape grower and winemaker Luca and Bele Casel participated in the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers annual market in Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna).
Founded in 2008, the federation now includes more than 600 member wineries, including some of Italy’s most iconic.
Its mission, according to its website, is “to defend the moral, technical, socio-economic, and administrative interests of its members.”
Luca serves on the body’s advisory council.
The annual market/fair, now with three years under its belt, is one of the most unique gatherings of its kind in Italy today. It gives consumers the chance to taste the wines and purchase them directly from the producers.
In an Italian wine world that is becoming increasingly consolidated under the banner of “big wine,” many view the federation and its market as a driving force in the battle to protect and defend the country’s small grape growers and small wine businesses.
Here are Luca’s notes from this year’s event:
- Nearly 250 grape growers.
- Peace and quiet.
- Carts full to the brim with wine bottles.
- Wine trade members.
- Consumers who buy wine so that they can taste it; then they’ll ask their local wine shop to re-order it for them.
- Families with children in tow.
- I hugged colleagues and grape growers who believe in the social value of what they do.
- I saw a well executed event, free of partisanship, organized by people who are ready to go to the mat for the independent grape grower.
- I saw conventional grape growers, natural grape growers, organic and biodynamic grape growers, and I saw famous grape growers and unknown grape growers manning their stands side-by-side.
- For the first time, I saw fellow Prosecco and Colfondo producers offer advice to a “competitor” producer and this filled me with joy.