Birth of Fine Italy
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Birth of Fine Italy
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On the face of it, November is a month of transition in the Langhe. After the harvest, the collective ritual that ends the life cycle of this land of wine, and waiting for the Christmas period, with its snowy white blanket, seems to recall ancestral rites and ancient times. It almost seems like the month of November exists to act as a gentle and sometimes dragging bridge between these two fundamental moments in the life of the Langhe.
Yet in November life often gives us moments to savor intensely: sometimes the sensational yellows and reds that the Langhe offer in October are even more alive and intense; some mornings the fog flows into the grooves of the valleys evoking landscapes that seem to be created by a painter; and a sunny day in November, well, makes us feel like walking in nature that, just having finished its work, starts to reflect and rest. Sometimes you can even see the newly snowcapped Alps on all sides.
And it was on such a remarkably clear November day that we met, we three founders of Fine Italy, for a typical lunch in a typical Alta Langa. It was one of those restaurants that seem to be straight out of a storybook: Grandma in the kitchen, accompanied by Mum and an aunt who were learning from her old, wise hands the secrets of a cuisine that comes from ancient times, and their children seeing to the tables.
An hour and a half passed slowly, as we abandoned ourselves to the pleasures of the table and the conversation between the finely hand-chopped meat and the vitel tonné, including a taste of tajarin with mushrooms and ravioli al plin between a glass of Nebbiolo and a brasato, a bunet and a slice of hazelnut cake, Muscat grappa and many laughs.
At the end of lunch, just before getting up from the table calm and refreshed, Franco waved us to stay seated, looked at us, and said: "Guys ... why don’t we offer an hour and a half like the one we just spent to other people too, even if they’re far away from Italy? ... "
A look of understanding passed between us, a toast was made, and Fine Italy was born.