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  1. Tradition  (tra· di· tion): the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another”.

That it says in the dictionary in order to define the noun tradition, term that implies guarding, preserving and passing on a heritage of values and knowledges that each one of us learns from his own parents and grandparents. My “tradition” comes from my father Giuseppe and from his father before him, it has come down to me through the wine I used to taste when I was just a kid, every time the harvest ended.

Growing up, that tradition has become a philosophy for me, a lifestyle based on the precious teachings transmitted, but it’s fed on always new horizons to be found in the world of natural and artisanal wine.

I wanted to enhance this tradition made of familiar aromas and flavors with a production model entirely mine, tested by the long experience that my family has in the vineyards and projected towards a future targeted on the contemporary requirements of the drinker.

I wanted to produce a natural wine, as artisanal as possible, as authentic as possible regarding its territory and his vine. A natural wine capable of expressing with great spontaneity everything which nowadays we call “terroir”, in order to indicate that series of unique factors of a land, like climate, ground and grape variety, that make unique the characteristics of a wine and distinguish it from any other.

I went back to my roots and, in a world so fast and industrialized, I rediscovered the passion for little, slow and genuine things.

My natural wine comes, therefore, from the respect for the knowledge my father put in my hands, from the love for the territory where I was born and raised, but it also comes from an ethical choice that want to bring attention to the environment in the name of sustainability. Global warming, soil degradation consequent to an excessive use of chemical fertilizers, the need to limit consumption are just some of the reasons that brought me to a more conscious and responsible choice in regard of my vines and towards you, drinker of Petracavallo.

It was necessary that I look at the wine in a different way, inside and beyond the glass, in order to consider it as the natural and direct interpretation of the territory where I produce it, Terra delle gravine. It was important that it became the result of a process in which I put myself as a simple spectator of the nature, careful and thoughtful, yet ready to intervene only when the plant needed care to grow up strong and luxuriant.

I refused to use herbicides and chemical fertilizers because I’m afraid that, in the long run, they could have negative effects on the grape and on the health of all of you who choose Petracavallo to yours moment of pleasure and taste (here I tell you how I work in the vineyards).

I’m not interested in staring at perfect rows, of a deep bright green, within which big and shiny bunches shimmer. It would be  magnificent spectacle, but it would make me a simple “gardener” of a too much perfect nature, risk-free, beautiful thanks to external intervention that are low in naturalness.

I prefer messier rows and more undisciplined bunches, my hands and my eyes in place of the best machines, equilibrated vineyards that spend their own energies for the maturation of a genuine and spontaneous fruit. I prefer the return to the tradition because I chose transparency: I make my vine with passion, I believe in the decisions I made and I don’t have a reason to hide them, instead I love explaining and motivating them.

The quality of a natural wine can only result from the history of its vines that only I, winter with careful eyes and open heart, can know. My story is inside each bottle of Petracavallo wine.

Vito D'Onghia

Author Vito D'Onghia

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