“It slept ten years in barrique and in bottle. And it was never ready. Then on 11 March 2011, what was supposed to be a super Perilla, the very fine Merlot from one of Italy’s most important wine brands, was unveiled as the devastating images came in from one of the wine world’s most important countries, severely affected by the earthquake.
And the fate of this rare Merlot could only be sealed ‘for a noble cause’.”
Dolegna del Collio | 2011
It took ten years to get this Merlot Doc Collio! The moment it was tasted with glasses and gave us its notes of plum and blueberry and the fascinating flavour of time, as in a flash back, images of Japan crippled by the earthquake and tsunami burst from the television. Everything was ready to make this extremely rare Merlot, produced in the vineyard of the highly celebrated Perilla, the red pride of a white wine cellar like Venica & Venica, an oenological jewel reserved for the few and put on the market on a one-off basis to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. Instead came those messages of despair and death.
Dolegna del Collio | 2011
“It was a moment of intense emotion and sadness,” says Ornella Venica, “and the satisfaction at finally being able to taste a wine that we have been pampering for ten years vanished as we thought of our many Japanese friends, those proud and composed people, but bent by an unspeakable suffering, that great civilisation that has always looked up to us. And we told ourselves that we had to do something, that we could do something.”
‘It is a bizarre and profound wine,’ Ornella Venica recounts. ‘We harvested it in 2001, it was in barrel for a year and a half, but it never seemed ready. We bottled it in 2003 and, waiting, we tasted it every year. But he was unwilling to be tasted. Finally, in March 2011, he revealed himself in all his maturity, becoming the sign of our solidarity.
“INSIEME” Merlot in double magnum format, auctioned by Friulian ‘Doc’ journalist Bruno Pizzul
“In a grand charity-dinner, which sold out, in the headquarters of the First Air Region Command in Milan, the most eagerly awaited moment took place: the unique exemplary label no. 1 of “Insieme” Merlot Doc Collio 2001 by Venica & Venica, the great red wine of solidarity of the “bianchista” winery par excellence led by Ornella, Gianni and Giorgio Venica, in a double magnum (3 litre) format, was auctioned off by Friulian “Doc” journalist Bruno Pizzul. The event raised €5,500 (the auction base was €1,000), which will be donated to children orphaned by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in the hope of offering them study trips to Italy.
The bottle was purchased, after a series of many bids in the auction, by engineer Carlo Gai, head of the leading bottling plant industry.”
A great solidarity event organised by Venica & Venica in the presence of many guests of honour and great chefs ‘together’ for the No. 1
“Promised land” and new market for wine severely affected by the earthquake, if Japan helps Italian oenology, Italian oenology took the field to help Japan. It was a great solidarity event organised by the Friulian winery Venica & Venica, which, in the presence, among the guests of honour, of the Consul General of Japan in Milan Shigemi Jomori – and partners such as the Cariparma Crédit Agricole group and the Friulian griffe Jermann – featured great chefs ‘together’ for n. 1, such as Andrea Berton (Trussardi alla Scala), Pietro Leemann (Joia), Yoshikazu Ninomiya (Osaka), Claudio Sadler (Sadler) and the pastry chef Ernst Knam, Luca Gardini, sommelier world champion in 2010, and the many people who wanted to support the initiative, selling out (and buying a two-bottle box of ‘Insieme’): from Luigi De Puppi (president of Toro and Alleanza Assicurazioni) to Angelo Girelli Giorgio (managing director of Banca Generali), from Tommaso Ferro (General and Commander 1st Air Region Milan) to many managers of industries and bankers. “
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