As we all have been under lockdown rules, with some differences depending on location but in essence we could not meet face to face, initiatives to keep the connection alive between humans started all around the world and in many creative ways. We have all heard of live happy hours, and Zoom calls popped up right and left into our agendas!
The Cantina Italia bulletin published by the Ministry of Agriculture, revealed that in the first 2 weeks of April, wine stocks were not noticeably decreasing and sales had fallen 50% compared to the same period last year. Some of these effects include also the repercussions due to postponing and cancelling events such as ProWein and Vinitaly that generate the possibility to increase business.
So what can a small wine producer in the hills of the Chieri area, in the outskirts of Torino, Italy do to keep the interest high during these challenging times? We asked this question to Luca Balbiano, a dear friend of Via Vitae Travels and one of the wine producers our customers meet in person during our Passion for Piemonte tours.
“Stappatincasa” is a catchy name with a double meaning: it works both as for “being stuck inside your home” and for “bottles to open in your own home” and is Luca’s response to the health emergency. “While I am not a doctor, I cannot help by saving lives so I asked myself what I can do to help to keep the conversation going about wine. This usually happens during wine tastings, face to face, and we could not do it this way anymore. The name Stappatincasa popped to mind when I wanted to create a hashtag for our Facebook page. It started in a very simple way with me telling the story of a wine of my choosing during Facebook live broadcasts. Obviously, I started with some of the wines we produce like the different types of Freisa, and Cari [another local and still almost unknown red grape]. Then I wanted to involve people in my conversations but I did not want them to be expert of the industry. I am convinced that conversation about wine is usually too technical. Therefore, I invited producers, chefs, journalists, sportsmen, astronauts, musicians, singers, writers. You name it. I wanted to make it informal and approachable, simple but not ordinary, a conversation between people that enjoy wine and share the passion. All this to light up the atmosphere with the global situation we all live in.”
We asked Luca about the future of Stappatincasa. He wants the conversation to keep going beyond the health crisis and quarantine, and he is thinking to add some content in English, starting probably with subtitles and adding content in original language.
If you have not been able to follow the live broadcasts yet, all the recorded videos and conversations are also available on the Stappatincasa YouTube channel.
Stay tuned for more to come in the future!
About Cantine Balbiano
Cantine Balbiano has a long history of wine making, going back to 1941 to Luca’s grandfather. Freisa is the local red grape, and a complex one to vinify, with very pronounced tannins and high acidity. In the 90’s a great qualitative revolution of Freisa di Chieri has come to a turning point. The experience that Cantine Balbiano has had with Freisa through the years made them the ideal candidate in the early 2000’s to be the pioneer in the project of replanting the Royal Vineyard at Villa della Regina in Turin with the autochthonous Freisa clone. Villa della Regina is one of the few urban vineyards in the world. You can taste the Villa della Regina Freisa wine during a private visit to the Villa della Regina with Luca, visit that is part of Via Vitae Travels Passion for Piemonte tours. We look forward to having you join us next year for this wonderful experience!