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Themes:     ‘Casa’ & LaPerla (86)    Super & Duper (42)  
Tags:    Activities     Wine
Paolo Thursday, 29 December 2016

The wine cellar visit is not for all

240 visits a year: our wine-cellar is a place of unbridled passion where wine itself is not seen as a simple end product but as part of a journey of discovery of the territory from where the grape itself originates
The wine cellar visit is not for all
A journey into a liquid world that is all to do with the grape, passion, toil and sweat, and the end product is something poetic in nature.
It is true that our wine-cellar is of note. This is not because there are many wines, all worthy of mention and some outstanding in their category. Neither is it because there is an area dedicated to Sassicaia, nor because there is a corner reserved for Pinot Nero, the wine type which is the passion of Michil, nor because there is a choice of Bordeaux greats and splendid sweet wines such as Château d’Yquem. It is important because of its relevance and meaning to those of us who work there: wine is not just a product made up of numbers and notions, nor of technical data and features without end. Wine is passion, cuture, wellbeing. It is a tale fluid in nature and always in development. It is an emotion which can change depending on the season. Wine is a live raw material made for persons who are equally alive and vibrant. Here at La Perla our principal concern is to focus on the person, on the individual, and we can without a doubt say that the wine-cellar is not the right place for all. It is not the place for persons who lack in respect, not the place for the impolite, and neither is it the right place for the arrogant. I make this statement knowing well the circumstances and knowing that I spend many hours of my working life here. How many tastings, exhibtions, fairs, visits to producers, meetings with interested parties, have I and we done to keep alive and flourishing our wine-cellar! Therefore if I observe that someone does not deserve the privilege the doors down below remain firmly shut. This said, we do many many visits and this because the majority of persons are well-educated, and their interest real, if somewhat of different origins. For example there may be the wine lover fresh from a course, a family with kids, the loving couple curious to learn more, and all are welcome. To entertain and inform we have an accompaniment of music, colours, film clips. Yes, the visit to the cellar needs to be fun and a journey to experience the virtues of wine. Narrow passages, wobbly steps, and low celings do not easily deter the interested person and I must admit that seeing the response of the visitor is always a joy. Some simply enjoy the vast offering before their eyes, others are actually overcome with emotion by the beauty of it all, and some are fascinated by the depth of study and research. I need to be quite psychological in the way I handle things for their is always a surprise just round the corner in the way people react.
A rough estimate tells me that there are 240 who visit each year – a significant number indeed. Each visit lasts half an hour and in summer we start at 7.00 pm and in winter at 6.30 pm. The visits are reserved for guests of the hotel and diners at the Stüa de Michil. We do not go about publicity in any big way, nor do we get involved in sponsoring events, and neither do we focus much on processes of fermentation and temperature controls. We try to communicate the excitement of the journey – a journey into a liquid world that is all to do with the grape, passion, toil and sweat, and the end product is something poetic in nature. Our cry from the hills could be ‘a wine-cellar dedicated to those who know how to appreciate the joy of life.’

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