Yesterday, at the Congress Hall of the Grinzane Cavour Castle near Alba, I received the special prize reserved for a book published during 2020 that has wine as its theme or which, in any case, pays special attention to wine, on the occasion of the 20th edition of Drink the Territory, the National Literary Competition promoted by Go Wine. For 20 years now, this literary competition has invited participants to recount their relationship with wine through travel and its emotions, and with my short novel 'Leonardo's Sparkling Wine'. I have chosen to take a journey through time - or a parallel dimension - in the name of Leonardo da Vinci and the classic method sparkling wine. The 'Drink the Territory' award event is a now traditional appointment that represents one of Go Wine's most significant cultural projects, made even more special this year as it is associated with the association's 20th anniversary celebrations.
'Bere il Territorio' was created in 2001 to spread a positive concept of the correct consumption of quality wines and to contribute to giving cultural relevance to the subject of viticulture in a country of great traditions like Italy. The 20th edition was particularly well attended, reaching a significant number of candidates from all over Italy. 

literary competition bere il territorio award ceremony chiara bassi bricco maiolica nebbiolo

After the event we had lunch at Alba restaurant L'Inedito Vigin Mudestreported in every guidebook imaginable (by the way, I recommend you read Michelin Guide: reflections after dinner - perfectly current even after this experience!), where we tasted the traditional menu. My favourite dish was tajarin al ragu di salsiccia (here you will find, in between tastings of Timorasso Derthona, the original recipe for tajarin piemontesi).

Among the various wines on offer, all of which were excellent, there was also what for me is a wine of the heart: this Langhe DOC Nebbiolo from Bricco Maiolicawhich is the 1st wine I tasted at the 1st level of the sommelier course. I hadn't tasted it for years and I found it even better!

national literary competition bere il territorio award ceremony

The National Literary Competition 'Drinking the Territory' has three categories: '16-24 years old', 'over 24 years old' and 'wine book'. At lunch, in addition to Mara de Pizzol (in the red patterned shirt) of Go Wine Torino and her husband, there were also the other two competition winners: Massimo de Laurentiis (pictured second from the left, with his brother to the side and their parents in front) future Milanese philosopher, winner of the 16 - 24 year old category with his short story 'The Blood of the Volcano' inspired by a journey through the lands of Aglianico del Vulture in Basilicata, and Pier Gavino Sedda (pictured at the head of the table with a very likeable Antonio on his left) cheese selector from Gavoi (Nuoro), winner of the over 24s category with his story 'Gigino's wine' inspired by the Sardinian land and products between memory, experience and traditions.

national literary competition bere il territorio award ceremony

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Leonardo's Sparkling Wine is a book I particularly love because it focuses on the multiplicity of lives we can live during our journey here on Earth. Lo Spumante di Leonardo is a message of hope to anyone who, like me, has lost the person they love most in the world and is trying to rebuild their life after a cruel fate has destroyed it. As Battiato sang in 'Vite parallele' we can live infinite lives, each with a centre, an adventure and someone to warm our hearts. When my father died young from a terrible illness on 18 December 2018 I thought I could never be happy again. And although I am far from a renewed equilibrium and processing of this devastating grief, my marriage to Francis, a newfound serenity with my mother, this beloved wine blog of mine and projects with Valentina have created a new life worth living.

literary competition bere il territorio 2021 award ceremony

Leonardo's sparkling wine, back cover: 'In a fascinating journey between fact and fiction that begins with his honeymoon in Paris, Chiara recounts the life of Leonardo da Vinci in a totally new key. Will Leonardo oust the famous monk Pierre Pérignon and win the title of discoverer of the classic method? What do the descendants of the kings of France have to do with it? And the Mona Lisa? What if the author herself was just a pawn in revealing one of the best-kept secrets in the History of Art? Leonardo's Sparkling Wine is the story of two young newlyweds searching for answers in the midst of a terrible pandemic as they discover that each of us has another life at our disposal'.

Thanks to the photographer Morris Moratti for the wonderful photo of Francesco and me at Brescia Castle that I used for the cover of 'Lo Spumante di Leonardo'.

literary competition bere il territorio award ceremony chiara bassi

Citizens of the world
They seek a land without borders

Life does not end
It is like the dream
Birth is like waking up

Until we are free
We will return again
Franco Battiato  

Many thanks to Go Wine and the Jury of the 'Bere il Territorio' National Literary Competition - composed of Gianluigi Beccaria (University of Turin), Valter Boggione (University of Turin), Margherita Oggero (writer), Bruno Quaranta (La Stampa) and Massimo Corrado (Associazione Go Wine) - for awarding this work of mine, which is certainly unconventional but original and heartfelt.

I sincerely hope that my message of hope reaches you too. ❤️

You can buy "Lo Spumante di Leonardo' on Amazon HERE.

Cheers 🍷

Chiara

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