SoloUva[USA] Tour 2016: An independent account

The following is an “independent account” that tells the story of the recent SoloUva Tour in the USA. Nico and Andrea have just returned from their trip, which began about 10 days ago. A third person was with them, Laura, and she was inspired to tell the story of her “first time” in the world of wine, attending tastings and meeting producers, a new experience for her.

Thank you, Laura!

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I’m a newbie to the wine world. And while I’m certainly not an expert, I am a genuine lover of good drinking. For me, the experience was a discovery of a new world made up of small wine producers, each with their own very personal story. Guided by an indie spirit, they each told the story of their wines, tales inseparable from their own lives. I listened and soaked it all up as I tried to understand the differences and admired their analogies, their passion, and the deep humanity that brings winemakers together.

The tastings took place in New York, Philadelphia, Newport, and Boston and were coordinated by the ever meticulous and bubbly Valeria, who promptly communicated scheduling changes in three different languages while dealing with unexpected mishaps and rocking Ettore to sleep. She did it all with unwavering, meticulous mastery.

Rose was at her side, with beautiful eyes that are rivaled only by her mellifluous voice. She is Indie’s events coordinator and she drives the machine as it lurches forward. She had a fun time learning Italian gesture as she sipped four margaritas (maybe it was five) and kept me company as I silently listened to two enologists arguing — a vineyard manager and a musician. It sounds like the set up for joke, right? It is because listening to two people with such different backgrounds debating and arguing about wine is the best premise you could imagine for a funny story.

The agriculture professor who left his prestigious university post to move to France so that he could make wine the way my grandfather did, growing grapes with only the sun to nourish them and crushing them by stomping them with his own feet. The biodynamic cellist who is searching for the grape’s never-before-heard note. Two enologists who decide to produce wine as they vie to make the best bubbly with the grapes that they analyze. They are straight out of a fairytale.

This is the Indie spirit in a nutshell: Traveling across the sea from these outer orbits and offering a taste of the tears of Dionysus to the American market but giving the artists the opportunity to pour those tears into the glass and to describe them. While the wine’s essence would be lost in an antiseptic sales pitch, here it is conveyed through the tasting. It doesn’t matter if the nasal aspirations, lingual acrobats, and wine warbling are transformed into spitting. I could write an entire chapter about this. Frankly, it’s hard for me to understand. Healthy inebriation would be better. But I realize that the presumption, in this case, is mine.

This was how I pass the time as I watch Summer nursing her baby during the tasting. She beckons for her partner’s attention as he has abandoned his post to toast with some of the other artists. I watch the complicity and passion that unites them. That very same passion perhaps gave life to all of this through the inner peace and devotion of Christian Captain America, the rock amidst the sea on whom the entire staff relies.

On the last night, I met another face of Indie, Rosanna, who took us to a wine shop and restaurant in Brooklyn. An academic with a dream in her pocket, she’s the one who deals with the clients and she really knows her wine. Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without Natalino’s unmistakable laugh or Valeria’s fairytale energy. For a few moments, she took my to her Sicily and she told me the story of her artist’s residency. She brought me back to my own little realm and I was happy that I came on this trip.

Laura Rudelli

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