Monday, October 26, 2015

SporcheMaBuone - The Southern Spirit Alive in Sannio (Bn)

The 15th of October.  I remember it well.  It had been raining pretty hard the night before, actually, it was still raining as I dropped my son off at school.  I silently cursed the large puddles in the parking lot at work as I hopped, skipped and jumped around them.  I didn't know that at the time, about an hour away in  Sannio (Benevento province) thousands were experiencing a tragedy  greater than a little traffic on the highway or a few large puddles in the parking lot.  They were experiencing mudslides, river banks overflowing, vineyards and livelihoods destroyed  if not seriously damaged.  Among those affected was the large cooperative Cantina di Solapaca.  Mud entered into their warehouse covering up to 80,000 bottles of their Falanghina del Sannio, Barbera, Greco, Aglianico, and Fiano wines.  80,000 bottles covered in mud.

But the south has a special spirit.  A spirit that with hard work and innovation, a situation as negative as this can bring a community together.  The cooperative decided to put these bottles on sale as an effort to break even instead of suffering huge loses on the wines sold.  The campaign, which began last Thursday, is called SporcheMaBuone! - Dirty but good.  I decided to pay a quick visit and purchase a case or two.  When I arrived last Saturday with a group of friends, the winery was quite busy.  Customers from all over came to show their support for not only Cantina di Solopaca, but the hundreds of families who are part of the cooperative.
I headed straight for the bottles covered in mud.  Crates and crates of them.  The mud was still fresh.  A case of falanghina, please. 

Purchase made, I turned and watched the crowd.  A crowd full of men and women, old and young who were determined that though they were down, they sure weren't out.  A crowd of regular customers, who were giving their support any way they could - anywhere from buying wine in bulk or shovelling mud.

Sotto questa corazzo di vetro abbiamo conservato il frutto della terra che ha provato a spazzarci via...

Under this glass breastplate we have preserved the fruit of the earth that had tried to wipe us out ...

Forza Sannio!

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