Each planted vine, when it sprouts, is a hymn to joy. It's like a phylogenetic alarm clock. It makes you vibrate. Gives you the chills. It leads us back to the roots, explains who we are. Summarize our evolution. Or at least it should.

2 Oro gialloYellow GoldLarmonia della terra coltivataThe harmony of a cultivated land.

It is about the scents, perfumes, colors, rhythmic gestures, voic.. loud voices, fatigue, scissors and knives exchanged as a sign of peace. Each vine bearing fruit again is a geographical reconquest, a small possible revolution that draws - one bunch at a time - a different map for the future. Having almost forgotten the story.

4 Andrea DAmbraAndrea D'Ambra5 La tenutaThe estate

And only God knows how much the island needs it. Of future, the real one, which is an active present. Where once was grass, paraphrasing the now useless celentanesco refrain, now there will be not only concrete, nor bricks competing in ugliness, but also a necessary wave of green. Because this is not the Gluck way to nostalgia, abandonment or inert environmentalism signed by culidipietra (“lazy ass” in Italian), but it is the harmony of a land cultivated again, with strategy and sweat, brilliant ideas and ancient feeling. Very ancient. Because after the escape from the countryside and the destructive over population of the concrete, the reconquest of the landscape is taking place. And it must not stop.

6 Il boschetto del nonnoGrandfather's grove

6 Il boschetto del nonnoThe legendary Red Boxes6 Il boschetto del nonnoThe future lives here

I’m taking a huge risk, that of hitting the wall of rhetoric. But no. I humbly share the enthusiasm of Andrea D'Ambra, the conscious heir of 150 years of family and business history dedicated to grapes and wine. He is not the only winemaker in Ischia, a hero not by chance, deserving a monument. But he has plotted the course for the New World. A little earlier.

6 Il boschetto del nonno Beauty in purityHe is a true and strong friend, and for so long, and I have no desire to get lost in small talk. Andrea revives the vineyards, one after the other, and reformulates the arithmetic relationship with the environment: it is a simple and very complex addition to the clods of clay and lapilli. Addition of life.

6 Il boschetto del nonnoEmotions

The latest birth in order of time is the "Tenuta Don Silvestro", on the northern side, dominating the old route to Campagnano, a millenary agricultural area familiar to Etruscans and Romans. "Here - explains Andrea - I resumed the cultivation of Biancolella and Forastera in a vineyard of rare beauty, overlooking the Aragonese Castle". One can smell the sea, getting lost on the edge of the Gulf of Naples, peeking through the rows or camping a little above, on the hill.

I went to meet him on the day of the "Prima". The first harvest accomplished since the start of the project three years ago. A "Prima" in the natural spectacle framed by the red "D'Ambravini" boxes. Filled or to be filled. Biancolella on the eastern side.

6 Il boschetto del nonnoSilvestro and Katia Cenatiempo

Forastera on the other side of the terraces. In the middle there is - again - the hunting grove surmounted by centenary pines, designed by an ancestral character: grandfather Don Silvestro. He also planted tall trees in the heart of his farms so that they formed a different microhabitat, and were then welcoming with the precious birds of passage that would find shelter there: for him hunting was a kind of traveling pleasure among the estates. Measured enjoyment, powerful awareness of love for the soil and the air offering their food and blessings.

"The vineyard was cultivated up to 40 years ago and, alongside grandfather Silvestro, there was Donna Teresina, who was a sort of Ischitan Calamity Jane", proudly tells the owner, heir to this heavenly corner, Silvestro Cenatiempo. Thanks to his tenacity, shared with his wife Katia, he made possible for the project to turn into a blend of concreteness. Good blood. Donna Teresina was a force of nature: she had an infallible aim, she used to put rings at birds’ feet like nobody else. "Patapam". Without too many thoughts. Eh! Other times and examples.

Also looking at Silvestro and Teresina as perfect tutelary deities, after three years of meticulous work, Casa D'Ambra has given light to the earth, cleaned up, tilled, overturned, planted it, achieving the ideal combination of productive recovery and landscape reformulation. The effect is triumphant. But this is just the beginning.

6 Il boschetto del nonnoThe day of the "Prima"I can already see myself observing this new D’Ambra soil in backlight, smelling it next year. I can't wait to drink it. Winemaking in the purity of the grapes grown in the areas preserving an undisputed wine vocation is a sublime thing that doesn’t concern experts only, because it is a "pop" gift to be shared with a smile.

The wine is a concentrate of high food democracy. Widespread pleasure with considerable added value. To understand it, just take a walk among the other vineyards recovered so far by Andrea D'Ambra, that have started to give back segments of identity to the green island, in a mix of traditions and far-sightedness: «Tenuta Belvedere», «Aita», « Vineyard of a thousand years », and so on, citing a few.

We go, with joy, for a walk among possible and true wonder. Going to places re-exploded with vegetation, here and there: and it is like playing skipping with only one foot between the numbered squares in front of us, after throwning a pebble. Of course, it is just like the “Hopscotch", the most famous children's game in the world that knows no boundaries. On the contrary, it invents them ex novo. Like the vineyards of happiness. Why not?

6 Il boschetto del nonno

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