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The passion of Don Giovanni Bosco for wine

Now the majors of the Monferrato region and the viticulturists of Piemonte ask to make the Italian Saint Protector of viticulture

Don Bosco protector of Italian viticulturists: this is the request of the majors of the Monferrato region and the viticulturists of Piemonte.

As a matter of fact, in the Saint biography it is possible to find a small book titled “The Italian enologist”, wrote probably in 1844, in which the future Saint explains in a simple and popular language the culture of vine, the managing of a cellar, the preparation of casks and the wine making process.

The passion of Don Bosco for this subject comes out also from the accounts of old viticulturists of the Chieri zone, and from the Saint writing published on the “Galantuomo” journal, edited in the monthly “Le letture Cattoliche” series. Quoting from one of his papers of 1857, we can read: “The wine is good for health if well-made and drank with moderation. The excess in drinking shorten the life and it is reason of troubles and poverty for many families”.

The passion of Don Bosco for the land and vines comes from his life spent in the countryside and from his father’s work for the Becchi family. The Saint biography informs us that at only 12 he keep cows and was vine dresser at Montecucco. At this regard, the old people of that zone remember that the vine that he worked at the Moglia farm was the one that better resisted to the Phylloxera. The wine of that vine was offered to Pope John Paul II during his visit the last century.

The vine of his brother Giuseppe, registered as a Giovanni’s property, was the endowment necessary for his priesthood. So, it was not a chance that Don Bosco frequently brought his boys in the Monferrato vines to harvest grapes and to celebrate the “Madonna del Rosario”. Finally, also the famous episode of his recovery in 1840 is connected to wine. After one year afflicted by hard pains and a month at bed, he recovered eating millet bread and a wine bottle gave by his mother.

by Sarah Scaparone
03 august 2009, Food Notes > Miscellanea

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