Marco De Bartoli, Marsala wine, and Aristotle
According to Aristotle, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”: perhaps Marco De Bartoli knew all along that he would be repaid for the effort he made to return to the origins of his culture and traditions.
The rambunctious Sicilian man, who died in 2011, came from a family of winemakers who at one point had played an important role in Italy’s Marsala wine industry.
In the 1970s, he decided to go back to his great-grandmother’s farm, in ‘contrada’ Samperi in the province of Marsala, to start over. He went back to the local Grillo variety, appreciated by the Phoenicians in antiquity, and its magnificent yellow-green grapes. And he went back to old, forgotten methods of winemaking.
He started making Marsala, and later Passito di Pantelleria… and those were the sweetest fruits he could hope for.