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Wine Design

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO CHINA TO SELL ITALIAN WINE, YOU HAVE TO GO THERE TO SELL ITALY OF WINE

 

Some time ago I had a collaboration with the POLIdesign of the Politecnico di Milano, which organizes post-graduate masters. They asked me to devise a new course, and I dropped a proposal : WINE DESIGN ”.

It was a time when I was working on the design of refrigerated wine cabinets, and then “wine design” sounded good. A second later, however, I had already regretted having said those two word; apart from the fascination they evoked I could not connect them to anything concrete! "What’s your job?" “The wine designer!”. "cool! And…so?" “Well, here…” I was hoping that the proposal would fall on deaf ears, but instead it was accepted, damn it; now I had to work hard to come up with a program that made sense.

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POLIdesign has a collaboration with a cultural institute in Beijing with which it organizes specialized masters for Chinese architects in Italy. Given my frequentation with China, it was decided to integrate their master into this "Wine Design", and a nice week was organized for a walk in some areas of Northern Italy important for the wine business and for the historical, artistic and natural.

I like the Chinese, I have learned to appreciate their deep and discreet humanity, the splendor and wisdom of their cuisine, their pragmatism so pragmatic as to be metaphysical, but in organizing this tour of wonders I wanted to humiliate them a little bit, I must admit, just a little bit, showing them the unrivaled magnificence of our country.

Our "master" had very little didactic, at least not in the conventional sense of the term. It was a passage from one emotion to another, from incredible wineries to breathtaking landscapes, from millenary castles to avant-garde wine institutes, a path dotted with sumptuous shopping (them) and refined tastings (much more me than them).

In short, a journey into taste and culture, the real one, settled in the stones of the buildings, in the sounds of the squares, in the devotions of sacred art, in the unique flavors, in the colors of a nature sweetly tamed by man, in the ways of a a civilization that took two thousand seven hundred years to become great.

In Italy there is a lot of talk about the wine boom in China, everyone wants to go there and sell it, but then it will happen that in 15 years we will all buy Chinese wine; I would say that they do not lack land, they do not lack money, they have determination to sell, it is only a matter of time, the technical one to develop the vineyards.

In that tour of the wine locations of Northern Italy (but how many other stupendous ones are there in our country?) and in the faces of those Chinese architects, actually a little humiliated by so much beauty, I instead understood something completely different: you shouldn't go in China to sell Italian wine, you have to go to China to sell Italy's wine.

We have to bring them here to make them understand the difference between having vineyards and having Chianti, Franciacorta, Langhe, the lands of Sicilian wines, to make them thirsty for Italy, for Italy that is also inside a bottle of wine. This is the only safe and durable way to keep anyone who tries to overtake us at a considerable safety distance. I had found the meaning of "Wine Design".

ARTICLE ON THE SALA & CUCINA MAGAZINE - AUTHOR: MASSIMO MUSSAPI

© 2021 Massimo Mussapi

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