Pierre-O Bonhomme Visit (2021)
This visit to Piere-O Bonhomme took place in July, 2021.Read more…
A Tribute to Olivier Lemasson
A Tribute to Olivier LemassonRead more…
François Pinon (1951-2021)
François Pinon (1951-2021)Read more…
Bellivière's "Vignes en Foule" Experiment
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A 2019 Visit to Matassa's New House and Vines
This visit with Tom Lubbe took place in June, 2019Read more…
Video: A Day in the Life of Nadia Verrua
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A Video Tour of L'Acino
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An interview with Rodrigo Filipe from 2020Read more…
De Fermo Interview
An Interview with Stefano Papetti Ceroni from 2020Read more…
De Fermo Producer Profile
De Fermo Producer ProfileRead more… //= $article['id'] ?>//=$article['url']?>//=Yii::t('app', 'Read more…')?>
An Interview with Silvio Messana of Montesecondo
This interview with Silvio Messana took place in Los Angeles in March 2011.
Tell us about Montesecondo.
Montesecondo is a farm my father purchased in 1963. At the time we lived in Tunisia, as both my grandfather and my father had vineyards and olive groves there near Lybia. They had some money to invest and at the time it was very inexpensive to buy land in
Moving along, my father got the land at a very good price and started planting vines. He started with 15
This is how I found the farm. My father died when I was 22 and this was in 1978. I was studying at a university in
Around 1985 I graduated from university and wanted to move to the States. I got a scholarship in Berkeley and in Boston, and decided to sell the farm. It proved to be a very difficult task. Nobody wanted farms in
I was in the States, and my mother started splitting her time between Tunisia and Italy to manage the farm herself. Because she was living there part time, she restored the house, which up until then was in unlivable conditions.
Being a musician, I needed to find a way to make some money so I started selling wine. I worked for a couple of companies in New York and through that I met quite a few people in the wine industry, including some producers. This was key for helping me in what I started doing when I got back to Italy.
By now it's the year 2000. I leave the States, move to
When I started
What's the work like in the vines?
It has changed a lot over the years. When I first started I didn't really know what I was doing. I made a lot of phone calls, went to visit a lot of growers and asked a lot of questions. Through trial and error I got to where I am now. I still have a lot to learn but I now feel I have control of what I'm doing.
I started working
Coming from a completely different background, my only point of reference was my father, who had previously managed the farm by growing the grapes and selling them to the
Instead of following this model, I felt it would be a good experience to go into every aspect of grape growing and wine making. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. When you find out just how much effort this takes you can't help but learn some humility. It gave everything a greater value.
What made you choose to work organically and then biodynamically?
The Steiner philosophy has been in our family for years now: all of the children went to the Steiner school. The framework of
My first year in the vineyards I used
I was familiar with the type of wine he was making, and thought they were interesting and unique. I was ready to make a change, but more importantly I needed a change. The seminar was in
You mention a change in the wines. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
I'm in an area where long
What about in the cellar?
For reasons I can't really explain, I progressively stopped using
How do you feel about your DOC, and more precisely where your wines fit in the idea of typicity?
I don't think the
I think a lot of people, when they try my
If you look at what
What's your take on the whole "natural wine" debate?
Wine should taste like the land it comes from. Wine should identify itself by its
The real problem is that
But to get back to the question, I'm not really in favor of the term
I also try to avoid the term because shouldn't we be on normal shelves? Aren't our wines just normal? Why qualify ourselves as "natural"? I know we are the minority but for me we are the normal ones. Why talk so much about what we do? We should talk more about what everybody else does: