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L’Americana Il Brachetto di Girolamo Caruso

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Girolamo Caruso pausing to talk with L’Americana about his Brachetto

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Of deep grottos & red wine, it’s a man’s world…but they don’t mind a certain breezy American woman stopping bye every now and then to taste their wares.

It was a mild October evening. I happened to park my car on via Concezione just outside the red cantina door near via Fontana. The aroma of must meant the fruit was being crushed, so I poked my head in to say hello. Girolamo Caruso and friends were making their wine, taking turns hand cranking the press, clink t’ clink t’ clink, as the crimson elixir trickled down the spout…

Il Brachetto di Girolamo is clear dry and, well, quite close to perfect. It has just a hint of the sparkle that spumanti offers without being too sweet. It’s fruity, even a little breezy…frizzante.

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Calitrani men are a notoriously quiet and shy around breezy American woman. But somehow Girolamo and I made it fun. After all it was the vendemmia. TreRota’s were buzzing up and down the vias and vicolos hauling the vineyards luscious bounty, with smiling happy men. (Ever ridden in the cab of a Ape? It’s a bit tight. You need to be comfortable with the old guy driving or it could get embarrassing… zio Giovanni was my first. Generally only the wives are given the honored and very narrow spot (there is only one rickety bench seat) and sometimes not even then. The joke goes, or went, that some wives were made to ride in back, but I don’t believe it.)

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In Campania wine producing is an ancient passion, and the crushing of the fruit is still a pretty primitive affair in the deep tufa grottos around Calitri. Stained hands work the presses, plastic basins and jugs hold and pour the wine. But it is a labor of love by and for men, for most Calitrani women rarely drink wine. Unleashes the passions of lovers, they say. Enough said.
I kept shooting. And Il Bracchetto di Girolamo and friends kept flowing …


Posted By L’ Americana o L’Americana

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Written by A_ve

28 novembre 2012 a 17:14

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