07 / 11 / 2017

L’Arena: Amarone on the trail of Ulysses, 700 step up to the challenge.

Excerpt from the article by Camilla Madinelli: “L’Amarone sulla rotta di Ulisse, alla prova si cimentano in 500”, published in L’Arena, July 2017

The myth of Ulysses, from his adventurous journey over seas and far off lands to his multiform intellect, even after thousands of years, still enchants and teaches designers, winemakers, and sailors of the new millennium take on new challenges: the challenges of the future, but with a regard for the past. The Homeric hero was adopted as the leading theme at Cantina Valpolicella Negrar’s award ceremony for the Limited Edition label «Wine Mythology Label» for the Amarone Vigneti di Jago 2012 Domìni Veneti. The winning label, from the Slum Design Studio in Florence, came out of the international ideas competition «Wine Mythology Label» promoted by Code “COmpetitions for DEsigners) in collaboration with Cantina Valpolicella Negrar and with the technical partnership of UPM Raflatac and Grafical. The competition, coordinated by the winery’s public relations manager, Marina Valenti, saw 700 submissions from designers and artists from 40 different countries. The union of wine and design, therefore, seems to be more popular than ever. Especially if we then add a mythological element. And even more so if Ulysses is involved. «Designing a label and creating a wine have much in common with the figure of Ulysses», explains the wine designer, Giacomo Bersanetti. «it takes subtlety in invention, the courage to shift one’s point of view, curiosity and the ability to convey authentic contents of value. The winning design, with the talent of extreme synthesis, uses colour as light: it is highly evocative and invites a lover of Amarone to establish a more intimate experience with the wine».

Giacomo Bersanetti

To put oneself to the test, for many, is an adventure too good to turn down. There is the risk of shipwreck, just like Ulysses. It happened to Matteo Miceli, entrepreneur, boat maker and sailing enthusiast, on his way back from his third solo regata in 2015. The wreck cost him the keel of his Eco40, his hi-tech boat equipped with solar panels, and water and wind turbines that allows him to travel in an eco-friendly way. A Verona-based carpentry specialist, Dmz of Villa Bartolomea, managed to repair the damage and restore the vessel. And so Miceli, as he revealed at the winery, is ready for his latest adventure: Ocean World 2019, a round the world trip while being self-sufficient for food and energy (complete with on board vegetable garden and chickens), in a regata with other solo sailors like himself. Ulysses’ mythical journey is still so enchanting that the scholar Giorgio Conti, cofounder of the Sustainability Archives at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, confessed to having retraced the journey when he was younger. Remaining with his feet on the ground and in the terroir, finally, is the enologist and general manager of the Cantina Valpolicella Negrar, Daniele Accordini, judge of the competition: “The intelligence of Ulysses”, he concludes, “is an intuition that lets him read reality in an adaptable way and to find new solutions to any problems: in winemaking, it is the intelligence to find the weak points in the production system and change them, adapting tradition.”

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