I just came across yet another blog post where the author repeats the same old litany that Montalcino is no longer “true to itself” and that the true Montalcino is dead. I wrote the following in response and I’d like to share it with my friends…
I don’t believe that a community’s vitality is gauged solely by the fact that its residents can buy everything they need there, like socks and toasters. If that were the case, a shopping mall would be the ideal community. A community is alive, authentic, and vibrant when it has its own way of being unique and when it creates fresh ideas and something new.
It’s alive when it pushes its region toward something bigger.
You miss the point when you pay attention to things that are important but secondary, like the fact that there are only wine shops here and that our squares are deserted most winter evenings. You pine for the community’s vibrancy but you don’t recognize that this community simply couldn’t exist after the exodus that took shape in the 1960s.
But there’s something that you may have missed, something that might be a little more important. Yes, some people have fared better than others. But this community was able to escape destitution and it refashioned itself from nothing, with no resources or help from anyone. And it grew to become the world’s richest agricultural economy.
On our own, we created something entirely unique. And we launched it into the world and we made it grow. It’s something that belongs only to us. But we’ve shared it with everyone. If that’s not something big, then I don’t know what is.
So someone has the gall to say that our community is not very authentic? Are you kidding?
We have created a society that’s capable of integrating people from all over the world. And we did so without no major earthquake, no lawsuits, and no crime. It’s a society that lives and breathes, that grows and creates jobs for young people. It’s even made it possible for many of us to achieve our greatest dreams. That’s not something you can say for the rest of Italy, where dreams are often a mirage.
Poor Montalcino, you cry? I say you need to get your head examined.
Stefano Cinelli Colombini
owner and winemaker
Fattoria dei Barbi