Snail award: Bele Casel once again wins coveted Slow Wine prize.

The Snail Award has become one of the Italian wine world’s most prestigious prizes.

Last week we learned that the Slow Food international foodways movement as once again awarded our winery its top prize.

Slow Food was established in Italy in the late 1980s by founder Carlo Petrini to counter the “fastfoodization” of Italy.

In 1986, after one of the world’s leading chains of fast food restaurants opened a franchise at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome (the Trinità del Monte as it is known in Italian), Petrini decided that he had to do something to organize opposition. It’s not hard to imagine, btw, which fast food company it was. And it was and is a complete eyesore in what is otherwise considered the most beautiful city in the world.

In what proved to be a true stroke of genius, he called his nascent movement the “slow food” movement: Not only does the name evoke the association’s ethos but its symbol and mascot — the snail — is literally the embodiment of the association’s mission and purpose.

The little animal moves slowly through the vineyards and avoids those where pesticides have been used.

The Slow Wine guide has been published each year since the late 2000s. And it’s become — hands down — the most important guide to the wines of Italy in the world. It’s also translated into English each year.

According to its editors, the top prize goes to wineries that balance respect for the environment and sustainable farming with high-quality wines that remain affordable to everyday people. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be the recipient, yet again, this year. It’s a great club to belong to. On 10 percent or so of the wineries included in the guide receive this top prize. It’s really meaningful to us.

Thank you, Slow Wine! We are proud to be a snail!

Author: Bele Casel

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