Rainstorm @Duline

Wild, beautiful Friuli and Duline’s Lorenzo Mocchiutti. 

Yesterday I began receiving texts, emails, tweets, and Facebook messages about an angry and overtly racist comment made by infamous Friuli wine producer, Fluvio Bressan.  Bressan published his views on Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s Minister for Integration.  His words were hateful and angry (translated):

“Hey…filthy black APE…I DON’T PAY TAXES to put your GORILLA friends up in a HOTEL…please take them to your house where you can style them out on your dime…Oops! That money isn’t even yours…because Italians give it to you… YOU SHITTY NEGRO GOLD DIGGER.”

Ugly, old-school racism.  Still shocking to me, leaving me (like any traumatic event), saddened and mourning.

Wine is such a truly emotional experience.  Bressan’s wines have always moved me, with their magically subtle aromatics, unbelievable acidity- these are truly fascinating, terroir-driven wines.  Now that I have read these sentiments, however, I find myself wondering if I can ever enjoy them again without recalling the ugliness of these words.  Why is it that I cannot separate the man from his wines?

I think because, in some way, the wines people make are the people themselves.  Great wine is terroir, and it is also human intervention in order to preserve and exalt that terroir.  Wine making is truly self-sacrificing and thankless work.  Like all forms of farming, the end-product is a gift to the rest of the world, thanks to the sweat and blood of the farmer.  Wine is a mirror of humanity.

Normally I find that the people who work with wine, who spend their time farming and encouraging things to GROW, are also good people, with hope and love and light in their hearts.

It breaks my heart to learn that Fluvio Bressan does not recognize the beauty in all people that I saw in his wines.

“…love battles
not only in its burning agricultures
but also in the mouth of men and women”

-Pablo Neruda