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Paolo’s Pentagon

history Meet the Winegrowers opinion traditions wine Wine News | David Moore

Paolo’s Pentagon

Paolo DeMarchi is one of the most important wine producers in Italy. He is one of a handful of thoughtful growers who were key "inventors" of modern Chianti. Imagine the challenge of redefining a very old (and at the time, sleepy) wine region. Most wine sold here had to be sold in wicker-basket-bottles because novelty trumped quality. To this day, there are those who think of Chianti as thin, skeletal wine, with a handy empty bottle, useful for holding a candle.

But in the seventies, when Paolo came of age, he and a few others recognized that the entire area had to be reorganized with a view towards quality over quantity. Just as important, there had to be a respect for tradition, or else the raison d'être would disappear–there would be nothing distinctive about the wines, and the wine-producing economy risked collapse.

We often speak about “Old World” wines as being an encapsulation, if you will, of a small region's cultural, and agricultural evolution; less “product” than produce. But it a long story.

Paolo’s Pentagon (above) succintly sums it all up. Each side carries the same “weight,” and all sides come together to describe (as Paolo puts it), “wine of origin;” a wine that tells the story of its raison d'être (reason for “being”). But you'll notice one thing—place—is the base of the pentagon, because all the other sides represent consequences of the place. Make sense?

If not, come on by and we'll walk you through the stories (and pentagons) of all the “places” that produce the unique wines (and winegrowers) we represent. DM

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