“Rock has always been the music of the Devil.”
“Rock’n’Roll is the most lousy, brutal and evil form of expression, a pestilential aphrodisiac, the favorite music of all the criminals on earth.”
Rock, like every revolution, together with a multitude of followers, saw thousands of haters at the beginning.
Today I met a pure rocker, a revolutionary pirate of art and wine, Danilo Quazzolo, the owner and the producer of Quazzolo’s winery.
Danilo is a man who manages to combine two different personalities. Both of them come together and merge together in a wonderful blend of dark and passion, strength and sensitivity, rebellion and rules, rock and art!
A nice mix that leads to an extremely harmonious finish like the Barbaresco of his production.
As soon as I entered into the courtyard of his cellar, I immediately noticed his Harley next to a press that has decided to put in place and customize with a large red skull and the writing “KILLER GRAPE”. A truly unique piece. The Jolly Roger (pirate skull) is the symbol he prefers and you can see that because he is not only showing it on his shirt, but also in few tattoos all over his body.
So far, everything seems in harmony with the character, but here inside the cellar all this hard and revolutionary image of him softens with a huge portrait on a concrete tank of the face of Jesus.
He is the author of that very sensitive and spiritual portrait. At that point I understand his love for art but I will understand him fully only when he talks to me about how the idea of those strange symbols was born as if they were scribbles of a child, on the label. He takes me to the little tasting corner and shows me a portrait of his grandfather lifting a glass of wine into the air.
The whole painting is always made with these twisted lines that seen in the distance, with its light / dark colors give life to a concrete image.The doodles are his form of painting, which unfortunately or fortunately Danilo had to set aside to make room for another art: making wine! Even in this field as in art, his character is called into question. Its wine amazes me. His appearance, his tattoos, his being a little dark made me think of a wine that I would define almost as heavy metal music, aggressive and rebellious …. and instead his wine is pure rock, harmonious rock and almost melodic.
Danilo produces Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Barbaresco. He inherited his land from his ancestors. He studied agriculture in high school, but then decided to follow his artistic vein by embarking on the Academy of Fine Arts. Only in 2013 did he decide to take over the family business. I don’t know what made him deside to take over his family activity. Perhaps the beautiful view of the Barbaresco vineyards that can be seen from the balcony of his house; perhaps his love for wine; or simply because wine, like rock, has flowed through its veins since birth.
The transition was not an easy one. Danilo starts from scratch and with a zero budget. He cannot afford a worker so he manages everything in the cellar, but this does not scare him. As an artist he loves silence (except when he takes his Harley for a ride) and solitude. The barrels used by his uncle before him were very old, so he decide to start buying a new single barrel. He has clear ideas on how he wants his wine. He wants to bring a breath of freshness and modernity to a wine that has remained too old and heavy for too long. So he decides to dispose of the old vintages as soon as possible in order to start with his new style. He succeeds fully in his enterprise.
It ferments the wine in cement tanks and its blend of grapes from different soils takes place already in the fermentation phase. Once the fermentation is over, the wines are left to age for 30 months in large barrels. In the label he decides to give his artistic touch and uses a twirl that will change color based on the wine. Let’s taste two wines together. Let’s start with a very young Nebbiolo in which I still feel a green but very pleasant note on the palate. Fresh, clean, young. I’m curious to taste Barbaresco. In the glass the ruby red color is bright, on the nose hints of undergrowth, cherry, ripe raspberries a few notes of leather and tobacco on the palate the tannin is enveloping and velvety.We sit on a bench on the terrace overlooking the vineyards and where we talk about everything. In the meantime, I take another sip of Barbaresco with a decided structure that is a little rock but always elegant and harmonious like the hills in front of me.
And as the song of Neil Young we wish Danilo:
Keep on Rockin’ in the wine world!!
(ROCKING IN THE FREE WORLD – canzone di Neil Young)