Pignolo - Cultivating the Invisible, by Ben Little

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We are really excited to be able to offer this exquisite and unique book, written by blogger/artist/poet Ben Little (he of thenativegrapes.com fame) and illustrated with original artwork from the author and also designer Carin Marzaro.

What if a plant could control our hearts and minds?

Ben Little believes that Pignolo, a rare native grape variety found in Friuli Venezia Giulia, has done exactly that throughout history.

Misunderstood and commercially out-of-step, Pignolo had to fight for its right to exist. Little tells the story of this almost forgotten grape, and its extraordinary resurgence thanks to a plucky bunch of winemakers who read the signs and went the distance.

Pignolo: Cultivating the Invisible is a 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, it’s a book that celebrates the new, the irrational and even the absurd. It has no clear beginning and no end, but you’ll be irresistibly caught up in the journey.

The result of five years of continuous field study and research in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Pignolo: Cultivating the Invisible stretches from 1,000 BCE to a distant future. Little paints a picture of 'how it was' and 'how it must have been' as echoes of yesteryear resonate with 'how it is' today. At its core lies an individual’s visionary need to cultivate understanding.

As Little journeys along 40,000km of Pignolo’s unbeaten paths, the project takes over his life in ways he barely understands. Little gets to grips with the unique character of five consecutive vintages and the undeniable effect of climate change. He surveys the geography, geology and biodiversity of each vineyard block throughout the changing seasons. Pignolo implores him not only to write, but also to become a painter. The book features his sympathetic portraits of every winemaker he meets.

Pignolo: Cultivating the Invisible doesn’t just tell the story of this unique grape variety, but also provides a wealth of technical and practical information. Detailed vintage descriptions and producer profiles will be invaluable to wine lovers and wine professionals alike – and to anyone who is tempted to visit Friuli Venezia Giulia to see for themselves.

What Little discovers is unexpected but brilliant. You’ll never look at a grape vine the same way again.


432 pages, full colour.

Kettle-stitched with exposed binding and full colour dust-jacket. Shipped in a custom-made, hand-stamped cardboard inner box plus an additional cardboard sleeve.

PLEASE NOTE: This item is not eligible for free shipping or other promotions offered by Morning Claret Productions.