There is an absolute modernity in the concept of ‘community winery’ that can be fully perceived when one visits one of these cellars managed with the love and the competence with which one manages a common good.
This is what happened at the Cantina Sociale di Piglio when it finally decided to open up to the outside public as it was looking to create new networks and find new opportunities for the whole area.
But let’s go step by step.
If the words ‘community winery’ belong to the past, the term sharing economy makes us think of young people and a lifestyle that we may all have to apply both to save resources and energy and to respect the environment.
One looks at the past and one at the future, yet their essence is the same.
So the term ‘community winery’ recalls a period in which attention was focused on the community forgetting perhaps to take care of the aspects of management and skills. The term ‘sharing economy’ recalls a young and ethical lifestyle but also a managerial focus on sustainability.
Yet the evidence of the facts is that the two ways of operating are the same.
The community wineries were founded in the 60s, that of Piglio was born right in the 60s by the desire of small winemakers to start producing an increasingly high-quality wine. The concept was to get together for all of them to grow industrially and culturally.
‘If you want to go fast walk alone, if you want to go far walk in group‘ says an African proverb.
Over time much of the initial spirit has been lost, high-quality private cellars have been created that have combined tourism and tourism experience with winemaking and the community wineries have increasingly remained centres with in adequate management. We were almost ashamed to say that we went to the community winery.
The ‘sharing economy’ arose instead more recently, after the drunkenness of mass industrialization and when it was understood that the logic of profit above all leads to the success of the few but to the ruin of the world for many. Then we realized we had created a new plastic continent in the oceans and we do not know how to go back.
In fact we cannot go back if we do not change, we cannot solve the problem using the same means that caused it.
Then we must change the socio-economic model and try to distribute advantages according to a logic that does not follow the postulates of Von Neuman, on the maximization of profits and on the economic behaviour of people, but follows the common sense of ‘common good’.
Then, thinking about it, Elinor Olstrom was awarded a Nobel prize in 2009 for her studies on the ‘common good’ (and she was the first and only woman to receive it in the field of economics).
So we have a disagreement between Nobel prize winners but the real judges are we who choose how to behave each day and watch the effects on the planet and our community of our actions.
Trying to remedy these effects, then, we return to sharing – sharing but we add the word economy – economy to emphasize that shared things should be managed with professionalism and not with guesswork. That there is not only the desire for a better world but pragmatism in pursuing this path step by step.
The sharing economy is designed and applied by young people prepared by new professionals who live a world totally different from the past. They are people who choose it consciously and that’s why their approach is proactive and not passive.
Obviously this approach is favoured by the digitization of the economy, the internet, social networks, apps and other technology. A behaviour pattern that then has extended to all generations.
But let’s go back to the community winery, the Cantina Sociale, and to the new positive experiences that arise from the reunion of the past and the future. One of the most interesting cases is that of the Cantina Sociale of Piglio which inaugurates a new wine season under the banner of the ‘Cesanese Lifestyle’.
Piglio is one of the centres where the famous Cesanese del Piglio DOCG is produced, one of the best red wines in Italy whose quality improves from year to year. While on the one hand the wine has achieved excellence recognized by the many prizes won by producers, the territory does not have its own well-defined identity and for this reason it has not yet become a true destination for food and wine tourism.
It was necessary to give a modern identity, but one linked to tradition, that would recall wine but that would widen the experience to a lifestyle. And so the Cantina Sociale in a modern way has launched a series of initiatives that combine art, food and territory.
An exhibition of paintings with a group of local artists and a series of events on the gastronomic excellence of the area involving Slow Food areas of the Cesanese territory and the protagonists of these excellent establishments.
Conferences and tastings in the cellar with master confectioners, local wine producers, artists, story tellers of the villages, musicians, …. Guided tours to explain how wine production plants work, in well-kept and professional environments, and to the barrel where you get excited at the sight of the large barrels that hold so much good wine.
The social winery then becomes the heart of the local sharing economy: one of the symbols of success is perhaps the opportunity given to many young people not only to start producing wine (last year was the case of a new 24-year-old producer that has given its grapes to produce its wine) but also the opportunity to be immediately inserted in the center of the promotion of the territory.
In the center of the Cesanese Lifestyle!