Initially conceived as a single wine, ‘A Livella evolves into a broader project that aims to revive the cultural heritage of Totò over time, uniting the generations with languages and contents that are transversal to the world of art and wine. The poem written by Totò that gives its name to the project is the artistic and cultural testament by Totò. The level is the tool used by masons to level the surfaces; in the poem it represents Death, reminding us that we are all equal, literally “on the same level”. A symbol, therefore, of balance, equality, equal rights: values that have significance also for the world of wine and for the territories engaged for millennia in viticulture.
“We are happy and excited to be the first in the world of wine to celebrate the immense cultural legacy that the ‘Prince of Laughter’ left us and that of his family, with an enological and cultural project with a strong identity”, explains Alessandra Quarta, young producer who followed her father in the family vineyards of Puglia and Campania. After reading the verses of the poem ‘A Livella, Alessandra deepens the life and work of the maestro and, some years after her “democratic wine” QU.ALE, she cultivates the idea of a new project to promote the artistic and cultural values of Totò, and his legacy. The poem gives the name to the project, because it represents the artistic and cultural testament of Totò, a baggage to draw on to tell its versatility.
Claudio Quarta, Elena Anticoli De Curtis, Alessandra Quarta and Francesco Gennari
“I found in Alessandra – says Elena Anticoli De Curtis – my own love for the culture of good food and good wine, which we both collected from our families. This element has characterized our shared commitment in the realization of the project, which I immediately welcomed for the sympathy and the pleasantness that it transmits in celebrating the memory of my grandfather. He is more than ever present among us today: his jokes are part of our language, his image is portrayed everywhere in Italy and there are many testimonies from abroad. In short, in its absence we can say that there is a continuous presence. In bringing the wine Totò to the table I like to imagine the affectionate feeling of being together, that state of happiness that, as he said, “is made of moments of forgetfulness”.
Claudio and Alessandra have long searched the vines with which to express the “Neapolitan” taste through the richness of the Campania region: they select and process the grapes of native vines, some even minor ones. The choice falls on Piedirosso and Casavecchia for the “Totò Rosso” and on Greco and Fiano for the “Totò Bianco”. “We decided to give life to two wines, a red and a white, to make plastically the two masks that knew how to embody Totò, that duality that accompanied his existence and the artistic journey: misery and nobility, tears and laughter, irony bitter as a light means of describing the difficulties of a society and a hard time”, explains Claudio Quarta.
Elena Anticoli De Curtis with Efrem Barrotta and Francesco Maggiore of BigSur
The two art labels are designed by Efrem Barrotta, creative illustrator of Big Sur. They are the result of a single study that highlights the artist’s talent and versatility, by reproducing two different expressions of his facial mask, through the simple movement of a few lines: “Rosso” is his popular character, “Bianco” reproduces the more aristocratic moves.