Wine – La Banca del Vino

11162007.jpgThe University of Gastronomic Sciences can put my pay cheque directly into this bank. Ever since I started working at UNISG, I had been meaning to pay a visit to the Banca del Vino, which is in the basement of the Agenzia di Pollenzo (one of the university buildings). This morning I finally made it. I went in thinking it would be just another wine cellar and I left wanting to quit my job as a researcher in Anthropology to go tend the stacks of bottles in this magic place. Just imagine 100 000 bottles in a beautifully restored 19th-century cellar.

The idea behind the Banca del Vino is to create a historic record of wine. Most wine that is sold in Italy does not have much age on it and the more important wines usually need some cellar time. What they do at the Banca del Vino is invite wine producers to cellar several hundred bottles for at least three years and the bank sells it for them once it has come of age. When there are only a few cases left, these are put aside to create a living wine museum so that generations to come can taste Italy’s best at its prime. Members have access to case lot sales but there are also individual bottles you can purchase if you come for a visit. In addition, there are monthly wine auctions that help raise money for student scholarships. A brilliant plan for securing the future of wine and young gastronomers!