When there’s trouble brewing, who does the wine business call? Witches, of course

Where are the Benandanti when you need them?

The 16th century Benandanti fought the good fight – with fennel, no less – to protect Italy’s Fruili wine region

The 21st century wine business, what with tariffs, pandemics, and younger people who don’t like wine, has its full share of problems. But it doesn’t have anything on the 16th century wine business, when evil witches in northern Italy wanted to turn wineries into outhouses.

That’s one of the highlights (one of the many highlights, I might add) of a freelance piece I wrote for Meininger’s Wine Business Intentional: The battle between the Benandanti, good witches, to protect winemakers and wine drinkers in Italy’s Fruili region from a group of bad witches. The latter’s goal? To defecate and urinate in wine barrels, wine bottles, and wine glasses.

Take that, Trump wine tariff.

How does shape shifting into spirits sound? And the Benandanti fighting off their nemesis with shafts of fennel?

Take that, three-tier system.

And a tip o’ the WC’s fedora to Jennifer Billock, the source for the story, and to my editor at Meininger’s, Felicity Carter. She has been urging me to find a good witch and wine story since the end of last year, and I was much glad I did.

Photo: “Arger-Martucci Barrels” by ewen and donabel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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