They tasked me as the oenologist of our family to join in support of Maestro Pomodoro, a revered figure of modern sculpture and a person of considerable worldwide fame, from the inception of the idea to its realisation. I wasn’t particularly familiar with his work then, so I didn’t immediately realize the opportunity that had been given to me; for it was a door that opened to another world.
On one of our first journeys we visited the surroundings of where the wine cellar was to be built as well as museums and churches of the area. We walked through the meadows and vineyards, smelled and tasted the Sagrantino wine, acquiring all the possible sensations of the place and taking in the spirituality of a territory that is the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi.
I was, and still am, stunned by the intellectual freshness of a man who was almost 80 years old.
While we were driving home in the middle of a hot and muggy July, I turned my eyes to Arnaldo and I saw him strangely absorbed and meditative. It was after lunch so I asked him if he wanted to stop for a while and rest. He interrupted me and told me that he was, right there and then seeing, as in a true enlightenment, a vision; he was visualising the shape of our future cellar. I immediately sensed the magic of the moment.
He looked at me with his eyes full of childish wonder, mixed with the wisdom of those that have “caught the bigger picture” and, while putting his palms against each other with fingers displayed like a spider, he said: “Marcello, this is what our winery should look like: a shell of a turtle, born from the strength and energy of Mother Earth. This shell (the palm of the upper hand) will guard a treasure, the wine, protecting it until its birth and its subsequent presence throughout the world”.