Wine Made on Ex-Mafia Land Launched at Slow Fish

05 May 2007

Centopassi, a line of wines made in Sicily from vines grown on land confiscated from the mafia, was presented yesterday during Slow Fish.
The red and white wines are produced by the Libera Terra cooperative, founded by Don Luigi Ciotti, a priest who has been involved in the fight against organized crime in the south of Italy for many years. “Even though the mafia has tried in various ways to stop all of this, we must carry on; good and positive things must win,” he said yesterday.
Ciotti was the driving force behind a 1995 campaign to change the law and turn confiscated mafia property over to social use, collecting a million signatures through his organization Libera.
Since the following year, when the law came into force, Libera Terra has been producing organic pastas, chickpeas, lentils and flours, as well as preserved tomatoes, eggplants and chili peppers. The new Centopassi line, created with the assistance of Slow Food experts, currently includes Placido Rizzotto Rosso, a blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah, and the 100% Catarratto Placido Rizzotto Bianco, with a wider range planned for the future.
“This is not just any wine,” said Giancarlo Caselli, a strongly anti-mafia magistrate. “This is a concrete demonstration that legality is worthwhile, that it’s not just about cops and robbers, but also about reclaiming the riches that the mafia has stolen from the people, and the fulfilment of rights, particularly those of young people who no longer have to be beholden to the mafia.”
“It’s also a good wine,” he concluded, a fact confirmed during a tasting led by Gigi Piumatti, editor of the Slow Food and Gambero Rosso Guide to Italian Wines.

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