Wine Buds at the Art Park la Court: between memory and new technologies

Wine Buds at the Art Park la Court: between memory and new technologies

On Friday 30th June, Michele Chiarlo’s winery hosted the second edition of Wine Buds, the community of young wine producers from the World Heritage hills. The evening’s topic was the fruitful relationship between memory and technology, and many of the guests present were from the world of media, music and food with a ‘techie’ bias. We interviewed some of them: the youngsters from Audio Di Vino, who soundtracked the vertical tasting of Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza DOCG La Court and La Court Vigna Veja.

How can new technologies look to the past and fit in with everything that makes up the story of a producer? How can memory and respect for tradition feed and enrich future prospects? These are the questions running through “(S)low tech”: the second event organised by the Wine Buds community, which meets each year in one of the local wineries with the aim of creating a forum for comparison and exchange.

Art Park La Court WineOled

WineOled, the revolutionary lamp to analyze the wine’s colors (photo credit Exploria)

The evening’s topic was the tricky relationship between memory and technology, between tradition and innovation, between what the past teaches us and what the future would like us to forget. Numerous guests were invited to contribute to the debate, from a variety of fields: journalist Maurizio Pesce, technology editor of Wired, musician Madaski, leader of the reggae group “Africa Unite”, Cristiano Rigon, founder of Gnammo, Dario d’Elia, journalist for the technology and video games website Tom’s Hardware and Riccardo Carone, CEO of design company DesLab, who presented his innovative Wineoled Eye lamp.

And then there was the food, pitched somewhere between tradition and tech, with artisan chocolate from Bodrato Cioccolato, raw goat’s milk cheeses from Cascina La Vetriata, breadsticks and lingue di suocera crackers from Mario Fongo “Il Panatè” , vacuum-packed delicacies from Migusta, Barbera Tonic from Cugini di Torino and Piedmontese cooking with a ‘techie’ twist from Diego Crippa, chef at the Enoteca Regionale di Canelli.


A moment of tasting (photo credit Exploria)

Wine Buds had some pleasant surprises in store. One of these was the soundtracked vertical tasting organised by Michele Chiarlo  – three fabulous vintages of Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza Docg La Court and Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza Docg La Court Vigna Veja – and Audio Di Vino: a kind of multi-sensory event in which a classic wine-tasting was accompanied by melodies and songs broadcasted by means of a handcrafted system of valves. To get an idea of how the music and wine went together, we interviewed Alessandro Costa from Audio Di Vino, who introduced us to the fourth ‘sense’ in wine: hearing.

Alessandro, can you explain to us what Audio Di Vino does?

Audio Di Vino is a cultural association from Imola which is ten years old this year. Apart from myself, there’s Marco Mazzotti and Andrea Bolognesi, the factotum responsible for the systems we use to broadcast the music. We’re passionate about wine and food and we’ve discovered the pleasure of involving music within a tasting session. Our aim is to add emotion, creating synaesthesia between the senses.

Art Park La Court verticale sonora

Stefano Chiarlo leading the vertical tasting soundtracked by Audio di Vino (photo credit Exploria)

Talking about your equipment, is it all hand-made?

Absolutely. Audio Di Vino uses equipment that’s hand-built by Andrea, using ‘technology of the past’ – in other words, valves, the precursor to the modern transistor. The resulting sound is analogue but – more than anything – it’s an ‘artisan’ sound.

‘Artisan’ is an important concept for you.

Artisan doesn’t mean ‘amateur’ or ‘approximative’. For us it constitutes an added value, a quality that’s unparalleled. Like art, and like wine, our sounds highlight the worth of what’s made with ‘hands and experience’, paying attention to the tiniest detail. I believe this is why we succeed in combining music with wine and food tastings, creating an overall experience of one-off emotion, an artisan esperience, in fact.

What choices did you make when working with Michele Chiarlo’s wine?

We worked around certain key words to choose the right music to accompany the vertical tasting; words that I believe describe Chiarlo’s wines very well: territory and loyalty.

Territory is about describing the area where the wines originate, making decisions based on one’s own roots, decisions which add value to what already exists. Loyalty, on the other hand, is the ability to be consistent with one’s own territory, in other words to respect its characteristics, its personality and the flavours – in this case – that the land itself expresses. The wonderful thing about music is that – in this instance – it completes what the palate suggests, it becomes grafted onto immediate knowledge and adds layers of emotion.