The arrest of Valentina Passalacqua’s father, on charges of using illegal labour gangs (caporalato) has shocked the natural wine world – who were previously in love with Valentina and her wines. Simon J Woolf investigates and sets out the background and the context for this challenging affair.
Simon tastes the latest vintage of Cramele Recas’s natural wines, and finds that they throw up a whole host of interesting issues to do with labelling, sulphite levels and the definition of natural wine in general.
I hate the hoorah implied by ‘hand-picked’. I hate it more round about the fourth-plus week of repetitive vineyard work. At the worst of times in the vines, ‘bored’ is an understatement. But ‘hand-picked’ is a misrepresentation. Not everything is blockbuster work but everything is done by hand — and once you’ve completed one task, in a couple weeks you’ll be back at the same vine again.