The fascination of this place
is not about what there is
but about what is missing.

This is not a cliché.

November 2018

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15
Thursday,
15 November 2018

About audiences and main actors

The off-season is for me a moment of rest, contemplation and future visions. The wine and its world, that's well known, are my thing. And so I combine business with pleasure: here and there I pack up my things and visit wineries, often accompanied by Michele, sommelier of the Ciasa and other colleagues, to find out where the souls of our house and our cellar come from, and sometimes these two end up overlapping.
You are in the center, surrounded by hundreds of spectators - you become aware, lightly, that position does not matter, that you are not the leading man. 
Mahatma. Great soul. Great soul of wine. Nearly thirty thousand bottles live in our cellar, admired by visitors and guests of the Casa. Then, when their time comes, they are uncorked to celebrate, to reminisce, and to enjoy the warm and enveloping mist that the fermented fruit is able to evoke.
I am in the cellar, now it is not long until the end of the season and thus the closure of the house. I write down the bottles that have to be reordered and see some gaps that we will be unable to replace. Like the one left by the bottle of Romanée-Conti 2004 which I uncorked that evening in March to celebrate the birthday of a guest in the Bistrot. As I mark the bottles, I look at them, remembering the labels to which I traveled to the country of origin to. I hiked on their lands, their terroir. I have come to know the dedication of those who lovingly let each bottle slip through their rough hands. I know some of the soul here - yet there are so many left to discover. I go back up to the world, to La Perla and the doors are closed.
The off-season is for me a moment of rest, contemplation and future visions. The wine and its world, that's well known, are my thing. And so I combine business with pleasure: here and there I pack up my things and visit wineries, often accompanied by Michele, sommelier of the Ciasa and other colleagues, to find out where the souls of our house and our cellar come from, and sometimes these two end up overlapping.
The places we have visited give us a deep understanding of their particularities and we can consciously appreciate their beauty. Every meeting at the wine's "home" connects me with the history, the tradition and the taste of the wine. I also seem to learn about architecture - this I would like to bring to you in form of a short story:
"You enter. You feel small, you are a part of it. You go down step by step to reach the center. And there seems to be a stage where the audience is the main actor. Space. Light. Hundreds of wise eyes filled with golden nectar stand still, firm and determined, and look at you. You understand the freedom of space and the harmony of geometry."
Rocca di Frassinello, in the Tuscan Maremma, which I visited in October, designed by Renzo Piano. He designed a wine cellar essential in the forms and with the intent for it not be a monument to the owner or the wine, but to improve the functionality of what it is and remains: a facility, a place where a job is carried out, certainly an extraordinary one, productive, ritual, gradually sacred, yet always humble. We are treated to a vertical tasting of Baffonero, their most important wine, which dares Masseto in a friendly Challenger; we admire the land where the Etruscans had already settled. And now that I know a soul more, I close it in the trunk of my car, ready to unpack it during a cozy evening at La Perla.
Back at the Hotel, I am waiting for souls who would like to listen to my stories, to celebrate with them taste and smell, the hands that work the land, the rest and the simple and enveloping magic that wine can bring. To the next journey, cheers!

Paolo