Women and wine. This is the core interest of ‘Ni ebrias ni dormidas’, the book published in Buenos Aires by the journalist Maria Josefina Cerutti. Maria Josefina Cerutti has been working in the world of wine since her early childhood. She was born into an Italian-Argentine family in Mendoza, the Cerruti, who emigrated from Piemonte to Argentina where they become one of the largest wine producers of the country.
As a sociologist and a journalist, she has always dealt with the Italian influence in the development of the wine industry in Mendoza and, more generally, with the Italian emigration in Argentina at the end of the XIX century. Today , she writes about gastronomy for Argentine, Latin American and Italian media.
Wine and the work beyond its production represent for the author not just an idiosyncratic element, but more essentially a way to interpret the life itself, in its simplicity and reality.
To relay the wine, its production and the role of women in this context, Josefina started her her journey from the Mediterranean, from the Magna Grecia, then sailing up the Italian peninsula. The author mixes historical fiction with amusing and lively anecdotes, whose protagonists are philosophers, writers, gourmets and sommeliers. Athenians, Etruscan, men and women of the Middle Ages, of the Renaissance, modern and contemporary: from Joan of Arc to Marguerite Yourcenar and Alice Feiring. There are also the names of many leaders of the sector in Italy and Argentina such as Francesca Planeta, Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Albiera Antinori, Ana Amitrano, Ercilia Nofal, Patricia Ortiz e Susana Balbo.
The book also describes the road that connects the vineyards of Italy and of the South American country thanks to the work of those immigrants who arrived from Piemonte and other italian regions: Wine in Argentina and more generally in the Americas – says Maria Jose ‘- begins with the Spanish , which introduced the vines. But the industry had a mainspring with the Italians of Mendoza. Wine represented for immigrants a mean of social ascendancy, as they often came down from the ship in Buenos Aires to go working a piece of land with vineyards. And Mendoza was actually built by italian immigrants. Among these, there was Victor Cerutti, Maria Jose’s grandfather and one of the victims of the military dictatorship in Argentina.
Finally, the journalist runs through the path of the relationship between women and “power”, that is their relationship with men, in a society still strongly patriarchal as the one of the Italian emigration, where women, though so historically present suffered a process of social “evaporation”.