QUANDO L'UOMO ERA BAMBINO.We don’t know if, after so many years, Luigi Rubino has a clear memory of the first time he set foot with his father onto the land of Jaddico. Like all children, he had yet to gain full knowledge of his future passions and aspirations. He couldn’t know that the person he’d become would be inseparable from this deep, sandy soil kissed by the sea. The same soil, that of the area lying just north of his hometown of Brindisi, his future self would touch, study, breathe in so many times, countless times, for the rest of his life. We can only begin to imagine. Maybe, just like today, spring came. The sun pressed its heat onto foreheads and necks. The Mediterranean scrubland woke up from the winter’s sleep in a purple explosion of bellflowers, flashes of luminous daisies. The wind, unfailingly, rustled through the blossoms, making them sing. And then, just like today, the vines had come to life, once again. Maybe Luigi, filled with a surprising new excitement, couldn’t help but let go of his father’s hand. And, maybe, as he watched this land renew itself under his very eyes, something moved in his imagination: what could become – he wondered – of this rich little corner of Salento, if it were to become his. And who knows if today, watching the yearly blossoming of Susumaniello, Salento’s most distinctive grape, Luigi feels drawn to remember that other day, when he first set foot on the land of Jaddico with his father. A father, Tommaso Rubino, who, having always dreamed of creating a winery able to fully express the great values of Salento’s winemaking tradition, could have not asked for a better son: Luigi’s tenacious determination to recover Susumaniello, an autochthonous cultivar that would now be practically extinct without Tenute Rubino, is the emblem of a dream fulfilled. But dreams become reality through the daily grind of work – passionate, almost religious, work. Work that ties days into years, work made of careful repetition of gestures, year after year, spring after spring, to bring the vineyards to life once again, so that they’ll bear fruit once again. Perfect young fruit, wonderful and full of promise, like a child.

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