This week, our tasting commemorates an event that played a pivotal role in establishing Italy as a unified nation-state.
The Capture of Rome, also known as the "Breaching of Porta Pia," was a crucial event in the Italian unification process (known as the Risorgimento). It took place on September 20, 1870, and marked the final step in the unification of Italy.
Prior to the capture of Rome, the Italian Peninsula was divided into several independent states and kingdoms. Various regions had been unified under the leadership of figures like Giuseppe Garibaldi and Count Camillo di Cavour. However, the Papal States, including Rome, remained under the control of the Papal States and French troops.
In 1870, the Franco-Prussian War broke out between France and Prussia. French Emperor Napoleon III withdrew his troops from Rome to deal with the war, leaving the Papal States vulnerable.
Taking advantage of the absence of French troops, the Italian army, led by General Raffaele Cadorna, launched an assault on Rome. On September 20, 1870, Italian forces breached the Aurelian Walls at Porta Pia, one of the gates of Rome.
There was some resistance from Papal forces, but it was not sufficient to stop the Italian advance. Pope Pius IX ordered his troops not to resist too strongly, avoiding a bloodbath.
With the capture of Rome, the last remaining obstacle to Italian unification was removed. On March 17, 1861, the Kingdom of Italy had been officially proclaimed with Victor Emmanuel II as its king, but Rome remained under papal control. After the capture of Rome, it was declared the new capital of Italy on July 2, 1871.
The capture of Rome led to strained relations between the Italian government and the Vatican, resulting in the "Roman Question." This question, about the status of the Vatican City and the Pope's temporal power, remained unresolved until the Lateran Treaty of 1929, which established Vatican City as an independent state and recognized the sovereignty of the Holy See.
The capture of Rome was a significant milestone in the unification of Italy and the establishment of Rome as its capital. It marked the end of the Papal States and the temporal power of the Pope, and it solidified Italy as a unified nation-state.
Therefore, let's mark the incorporation of Rome into Italy in the most fitting manner: through a wine tasting celebration!!!
Sogente, Rose Prosecco “La Fonte” Extra Brut ~
This wine originates from a six-hectare plot of Glera vines nestled in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, just a short distance from the Veneto border to the west. These vineyards are located a mere few hundred meters from a natural spring, known as 'sorgente' in Italian, at the origin point of the Livenza River. It's worth noting that the name 'Sorgente' was selected because it translates to 'Source' in Italian. The vineyards are situated in close proximity to the very source of a river."
This Prosecco is very dry. It has minimal residual sugar, making it crisp and refreshing. On the palate, you can expect flavors of red fruits, such as cranberry and red currant, accompanied by zesty acidity. The dryness allows the fruit flavors to shine through. With fine, persistent bubbles that provide a lively and effervescent mouthfeel.
2021 Soave Classico Otto
Its delicate floral aroma is enchanting, featuring sweet white flowers and subtle hints of spice that beautifully complement the notes of zesty lime and crisp green apple. You are greeted by a burst of vibrant green citrus flavors, underpinned by a profound sense of saline minerality. What truly stands out is the harmonious touch of sweetness that lingers gracefully in the background, adding to the overall balance.
The finish of the Otto is notably long and leaves a lasting impression. Traces of candied lime make for a delightful conclusion, yet it manages to maintain a refreshing quality, with a lingering tension that keeps the palate yearning for another sip.
Pra “Morandina” Valpolicella 2021~
In the early 2000s, Graziano Pra fulfilled his longstanding ambition by purchasing a 13-hectare vineyard near Mezzane in eastern Valpolicella. Situated at an altitude of 450 meters, the vineyard's steep, rocky slopes with yellow marl soil produce low yields. The cool nights ensure a lengthy ripening period. This vineyard is organically farmed without chemical treatments.
This 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella blend Valpolicella, exuding both intensity and delicacy due to the limited yields from the Morandina vineyards. Its vibrant red berry scents, accented by hints of wild thyme, introduce a refreshing, sappy wine that unfolds with intricate layers of raspberry leaf, licorice, and cherry. This wine is both juicy and fresh, yet silky in texture, featuring a well-balanced acidity that imparts remarkable flavor depth, particularly considering its light character.
Elena Walch Lagrein 2022~
Elena Walch is a well-regarded winery situated in the Alto Adige region of Italy. The winery has gained recognition for its production of fine wines, among them, the Lagrein. Lagrein is a red wine grape variety that originates from the Alto Adige region.
The aroma is moderately intense, revealing a strong fruity presence of cherries, sour cherries, and plums, accompanied by enticing hints of cinnamon, pepper, and butterscotch.
On the palate, it presents itself as medium-bodied with a gentle acidity and velvety tannins. Each sip fills your mouth with a wealth of flavors, including cherries, plums, ripe strawberries, and blackberries. The experience is further enriched by notes of cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, buttery caramel, and cedar, adding an extra layer of complexity. The finish leaves a delightful, lingering taste reminiscent of marmalade.
We eagerly anticipate your presence as we gather to savor these exquisite wines in celebration of Italy's Unification, "the Risorgimento," on Wednesday, September 20th, from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Salute, ci vediamo allora!
(Cheers, see you then!)
The Team at The Wine Shop of Charleston