Throughout the course of history,
unbeknown to many,
Ben Little believes that Pignolo,
a rare native black grape variety found in Friuli Venezia Giulia,
has done exactly that.
Misunderstood and commercially out-of-step in the modern world,
somehow it has survived the menace of perennial economic threat.
Uncovering the story behind its extraordinary resurgence
at the hands of a gutsy bunch of growers,
it was then that Little found himself unwittingly dragged into a viti-cultural dig
of unimaginable proportions.
The mixed-media, quasi-technical tale about a black grape, its home, its custodians
and its wines.
As an ‘animal-trans-plant kingdom’ story for the absolute beginner’s mind, one with unclear beginnings and no
discernible end, it’s equally an inspired love story whose leap of faith celebrates the invisible, the unknown,
the irrational and even the absurd.
The outcome of five years continuous field research in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a study which stretches the body and mind from 1,000 BCE toward a distant future, Little imaginatively unearths images of ‘how it was’ and ‘how it must have been’: it’s striking how deeply the echoes of yesteryear resonate with ‘how it is’ today.
At its core; an individual’s visionary need to cultivate understanding.
Trekking some 40,000 kilometres along Pignolo’s unbeaten paths, instinctive forces take over Little’s life in ways he barely comprehends. Getting to grips with climate change and increasingly more significant vintage variations, he observes the vine close up. Absorbing the geography, geology and biodiversity of each vineyard block, through both seasonal and emotional ups and downs, the more he digs, the deeper Pignolo takes him.
The result: an extraordinary harvest of diversely creative fruits.
PIGNOLO Cultivating the Invisible doesn’t just recount the legend of a rather unique grape variety, it provides a wealth of technical and practical information too. Its ample body of ampelographic insights, its detailed vintage reviews and its host of individual producer profiles will prove invaluable to wine lovers and wine professionals alike – in fact to anyone tempted to cultivate their own way to Friuli Venezia Giulia.
What Little reveals is unexpected but brilliant.
You’ll never look at a grape vine the same way again.
“Nothing I say can do this book justice. It’s a book like no other book I have reviewed. It’s poetry. It’s a fairground. It’s Alice in Wonderland meets Robert Frost on the road less travelled. It’s Muriel Barbery lost in an amphora, Einstein with anthocyanin-stained hands, a self-help hack, a work of art, a scrap book, a paean, an odyssey, a howl at the universe, a prayer to the moon. It brought me to tears more than once.”
Link: Tamlyn Currin / JancisRobinson.com Pignolo CTI Review
“Pignolo Cultivating the Invisible is a fantastic multi-media exploration…
…a highly personal memoir of
and tribute to a very distinctive grape
and the people who have nurtured it as it nurtured them.
More than a book, it is an experience.
THE WINE ECONOMIST
Full detailed review just click below
“Very impressed with this work.
I could never have imagined that it was possible to write
such a detailed 432 page volume on Pignolo alone.
Dr. Jose’ Vouillamoz
Leading authority on winegrape DNA profiling
Educator & Writer, Co-author of the award winning
“This is an unusual genre-bending book.
Recommended for Dreamers.”
Founder Winemaker at Bonny Doon Vineyard
Popelouchum Viticultural Visionary & Dreamer
currently masterminding The Language of Yes
“I love this book”
Master Sommelier, Frasca Food & Wine Owner,
James Beard Foundation Award winner for Hospitality Excellence
“Ben Little’s book on Pignolo is extremely authoritative:
it definitely covers the entire waterfront like no one else has.”
National Geographic Magazine Contributing Writer
New York Times Magazine Writer at Large
Written and self-published by Ben Little
Copyright © 2021
an eye-catching 432 page, artisan ‘kettle-stitched’ paperback.
Brimming with imagination and invention, including an extensive selection of Ben Little’s own original artworks including portrait paintings, sketches and illustrations, notably the books immediately visible and curiously abstract, sartorial jacket.
First edition published in English.
Creative Direction, Graphic Design + multiple original Artworks and Collages:
HIGH RES images available on request.