What happened to us — in the middle of August, the hottest time of the year, when Italy goes on vacation! — proves that wine theft can be a business. It takes planning and study and study of its costs and profits. The theft of such a large quantity of wine, a product that produces incomparable emotions in those who drink it and those who produce it, can only be carried out by means of cold, detached, and hypnotically choreographed means, like that which we have see in the video from our closed circuit cameras.
Nothing like this has ever happened here. And we can’t tell if this episode of wine theft is yet another news story that reflects the changing and ever more barbaric times, just like someone forgetting to turn on their turn signal while driving or not apologizing for bumping into someone in a crowd. One thing is certain: gauging from the face of our cellar master, it would seem that another taboo of incivility has just been breached.
The greatest source of pain for us is that the 2009 Amativo is now totally gone. There is no legitmate channel through which wine shops, distributors, or restaurants can procure a bottle. If you have a bottle at home or in your shop, remember that the 2009 Amativo is a special wine. It is a survivor.
On the other hand, there is also great joy: Cantele is still here. Many of you are asking yourselves, do they have any wine left? My answer comes in the form of a smile: this was huge setback for us and I have to admit that it really pissed us off… but it would take a lot more than this to take us out of the game. Thankfully, even though it’s not up to us to define ourselves as a “big winery,” we are a big winery. And every year, we make a lot more wine than the amount stolen from us.
The robbery happened at just the right time. The shipping companies don’t do deliveries during this period in August. The only ones working are the connoisseur thieves who belong to the teamster union. By Monday August 20, we will be ready — both commercially and emotionally — to fulfill any of your orders. Even though the robbers took 28,000 bottles of wine, they didn’t take our souls or our will to work even harder to fill up our cellar once again.
Despite the theft, our remaining supply of wine will allow us to maintain our presence on the market uninterrupted. As we begin bottling, it will take about fifteen days to make up for the wine we have lost. It’ll take a few more days for the Amativo: the 2010 won’t be ready until the end of September.
I’m happy to inform you that Cantele’s soul is intact and perfectly healthy. The thieves gave us something that money can’t buy: the will to work harder and better.