The red of the thousand years

tenuta-migliaccioIt was a “long century”, the nineteenth century according to historian Eric J. Hobsbawm that considers the twentieth-century a “short century”. The nineteenth century is “The Age of Capital” and “The Age of Empire”. It’s the first century of the “industrial revolution” of  the ‘ heyday of the West’ with the “belle époque” that the British historian closes in 1914, from which starts in the subjectivity of the periodization '900 the “short century”.

But another historian Arno Mayer, reverses this judgment and indicates the nineteenth century as “a phase of resistance innovation permeated by legacies of the past rather than a revolution, a kind of long tail of the Ancient Regime”.
“Appearances aside, the nineteenth century is still characterized by large property of nobility, craftsmen and shopkeepers, to be elected assemblies full of aristocrats and rural notables” so according to Mayer, persists this Old Regime of the XV century in the wake of the nineteenth century. Even historians - like all disciplines aimed at understanding - never finds peace.
Paolo Macry says that historiography is “linked to the stress of this, go back to where they started with new hypotheses and new “provisional conclusions”. Its charm lies in this.
So if the visitor to our twenty-first century, that of the third industrial revolution of the informatics and telematics, sets foot in the island of Ischia, the Partenopee and Pontine islands and the “oldest” ones where the civilized man has arrived from Greece in the eighth century BC and is no longer gone, and really want to go to his discovery cannot stop at one visit of the “Seven pearls of history and beauty” that the beautiful publication attached to the issue of our Magazine April 2014 Ischianews & Eventi indicates the Aragonese Castle, the Museum of Villa Arbusto, the villa / museum La Colombaia by Luchino Visconti, the Giardini La Mortella, the Ravino Garden, the museum of the Tower, the Diocesan Museum with its two sections in the Palazzo del Seminario in the Borgo di Celsa and overall the Basilica of Santa Restituta in Lacco Ameno.
These are the seven pearls to be seen immediately, but carefully, it is necessary to discover the island go inside, between the gorges of the Mountains of the giant Typhon and try to understand how the population of the island of Ischia, that in ‘700 was more than 16 thousand inhabitants, is procured the means of subsistence, built their own houses, founded and developed an economy not only agricultural but also commercial and industrial.
It was necessary to see ‘the vine of the thousand years’ in ‘Jesca’ in Serrara-Fontana at about 400 meters above sea level property of Mr. Benedetto Migliaccio, 55, married with Professor Giovanna Ilardi, 50 years old, mathematician, with a wonderful daughter, Benedetta, 15, gold haired.
The Migliaccio estate extends between cliffs, quarries, canals, for 14 acres. It comes down to one lane from Serrara inaccessible once reserved for mules but now made by car driveway with powerful engines. The view that you see from the terrace of the house - a time but now perfectly restored farmhouse - is indescribable in its beauty and in its immensity.
This estate produced one of the best red wines of island in the “long century” so much so that in 1870 it received the Medal Honour to national wine competition. In the nineteenth century were produced throughout the island, which was a huge vineyard, at least 14 thousand hectoliters of wine- according to historian Giuseppe D’Ascia from Ischia - and this production was exported with “tankers” even across the Mediterranean in Marseille.
The story of this estate fits into that of the Migliaccio Family, this great family of the landed gentry of island, which has its most illustrious ancestor in Mr. Angelo Migliaccio who for twenty years was mayor of Barano from 1849 to 1869 and which is dedicated to the most important road of Barano to perpetuate the memory of this public administrator “right and strong”" as they call the historical Giovan Giuseppe Cervera and Agostino Di Lustro
For a “regret” Migliaccio went away from the'island of Ischia and emigrated to Vico Equense on the Sorrento coast, where lives today Mr. Benedetto with his wife and daughter and covering also the position of Deputy Mayor. A sense of Honour and Sorrow of the past perhaps now extinct in the Internet era. The “Jesca” estate has been abandoned for 100 years. Mr. Benedetto Migliaccio has returned to Ischia 15 years ago but carried it in heart and mind forever. He knows the story in great detail, retains the maps and old books as the text of Giulio Jasolino of 1588 on natural remedies that can be found in the island of Pitecusa, today Ischia”, the first text on the therapeutic power sources spas scattered throughout the island that the great volcanologist Alfred Rittmann considered his “favorite” for his extraordinary scientific interest. Mr. Benedetto has found all notarial archive the oldest document of the estate of his family. It dates back to 1034 where a notary collects the donation of the estate “ Jesca” of this Mellusi to the Benedictine monasteryfor the redemption of the soul. That’s why he named his estate as “of the thousand years”.
“Here are stratified thousand years of history - tells the reporter - and the memories of the ancient illiterate peasants are written on the terraces made without "parracine" drywall walls with stones, because here there is the "green stone" as Forio and yet the memories of these heroes are silent and humble dug into the tuff in these caves that were their homes and workshops”.
When Mr. Migliaccio decided for the sake of Remembrance of the Fathers to recover the entire estate to the winemaker Andrea D’ Ambra, the owner of the D’Ambra house, the oldest winery in the production of wines of the island of Ischia founded by Francesco D’Ambra in 1888, to replant the typical grape varieties - especially the red wines - and so in a few years have been recovered about 7 hectares and this year for the first time after 100 years in the red distribution “the vineyard of the thousand years” of the wine produced in 2012 which will be presented Wednesday, on May 14, 2014 at 16:30 at the National Library “Vittorio Emanuele III” of Naples during a demonstration organized by the Rotary International District 2100 , Club of island of Ischia, and which will be attended apart from the prof. Giancapro Mauro, director of the National Library of Naples, Mr. Maria Rita Acciardi Governor of District 2100 of Rotary, Mr. Luigi Mennella, President of the Rotary Club of Ischia, prof. Aldo Aveta, director of the School of Specialization in Architectural Heritage of the University of Naples Federico II, prof. Alessandro Castagnaro , Mr. Alfredo Sguanci in addition to Mr. Migliaccio and winemaker Andrea D'Ambra while journalist Annamaria Chiariello will be the coordinator. There will also be an exhibition of old maps and things of Ischia and a tasting of red wines in the vineyard of the thousand years with tastings of Chef Nino Di Costanzo. The recovery of the vineyard and its wine production is a work of love and culture. It is a challenge of two madmen or two romantics who want to enclose in a thousand years of wine history.
Perhaps it is the testimony of a "persistence" of a "resistance to innovation”, shouting that the peasant is heroic and that there is a story of men in their close relationships with the land that feeds and supports them - as says another historian, Fernand Braudel – with a dialogue that continues to repeat itself, which is repeated to last, that can change and actually changes the surface, but which continues, tenacious, as if it were out of time”.

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029

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