Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome to IGP!

IGP, I Giovani Promettenti (The Promising Young Men) is a brainchild of Carlo Macchi, Luciano Pignataro and Franco Ziliani, all of whom have way too many ideas: Each week one of them would write an article, on a weekly rotation, and all three would post the articles simultaneously on their sites. Articles not necessarily strictly related to wine, but to topics they thought important.

In January Franco bowed out, and Luciano and Carlo asked Stefano Tesi and Roberto Giuliani to come aboard. Both accepted eagerly, and then they had the rash idea of asking me to join them. So now there are five Promising Young (we are, really!) Men. Here you will find the articles in English, and on their sites in Italian.

And to get to their sites, which are well worth wandering? You'll find links in the right-hand column.

This time the rotation falls to Luciano, who writes:

GARANTITO IGP. Elena Fucci, Marianna Vitale e Giovanna Voria: Stories of Southern Women

If there is one thing in which it is difficult to distinguish between North and South, it is enogastronomy. We can also see this from the fact that women do not need the help of affirmative action laws to emerge. Here are three stories, to tell, eat, and drink.

Elena Fucci is 28 years old. Her grandfather inherited a beautiful vineyard in Contrada Titolo a Barile, in the Vulture. He refused to sell, and still lives there now, well past the age of 90. In 2000 her father Salvatore, who worked as a teacher, decided to stop selling the grapes and begin bottling the wine in the small cellar not far from their home: An extremely difficult challenge considering the years that followed, with the attack on the Twin Towers and the Economic Crisis that rocks us still. Elena took a degree in winemaking at Pisa, and returned to the South to continue in her father's footsteps. With great success, seeing that for the second consecutive year her Aglianico del Vulture Titolo has garnered the most recognition. Her experience bucks the trend with respect to the flight from the South that continues in many other fields.

Marianna Vitale is 30 years old: After working with Lino Scarallo at Palazzo Petrucci she decided to open, with her husband Esposito, the Ristorante Sud at Quarto, in the northern suburbs of Naples. A tremendous challenge, in an out-of-the-way place that attracts no visitors at all. Marianna, however, is creative, innovative, and quick. In just a short time her restaurant became a success, initially primarily due to word of mouth on the Internet, though it has now been picked up by the restaurant guides too. Her story shows that the suburbs are not immune to beauty and hard work.

Giovanna Voria is 50 years old. From Cilento, she opened her agriturismo in a desolate valley not far from the temples of Paestum, tear the headwaters of the Alento river, which gave its name to the wild, bitter, uninhabited lands of the Cilento. Should have prepared the standard fusilli and grilled meats, but instead studied cooking, pastry making and canning year after year, and now her Agriturismo, Corbella, is both a repository for the local traditions and proof of the infinite possibilities that can spring from creative thought applied to the products of the land. Her story shows that even in the poorest rural areas it is possible to seek quality and grow.

Three stories of Southern women. Three reasons to be optimistic, despite everything.

Elena Fucci, Barile. Vulture.
Ristorante Sud, Quarto, Napoli.
Agriturismo Corbella Cicerale, Cilento.

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