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Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey (Sept. 2010)
(University of Nebraska Press)
Press inquiries for a digital media kit of Palmento click here. To receive a review copy or to make an inquiry with publisher contact Publicity Manager Cara Pesek at email@example.com
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Inspired by a deep passion for wine, an Italian heritage, and a desire for a land somewhat wilder than his home in southern France, Robert V. Camuto set out to explore Sicily’s emerging wine scene. What he discovered during more than a year of traveling the region, however, was far more than a fascinating wine frontier.
Chronicling his journey through Palermo to Marsala, across the rugged interior of Sicily to the heights of Mount Etna, Camuto captures the personalities and flavors and the traditions and natural riches that have made Italy’s largest and oldest wine region the world traveler’s newest discovery. In the island’s vastly different wines he finds an expression of humanity and nature—and the space where the two merge into something more.
Here, amid the wild landscapes, lavish markets, dramatic religious rituals, deliciously contrasting flavors, and astonishing natural warmth of its people, Camuto portrays Sicily at a shining moment in history. He takes readers into the anti-Mafia movement growing in the former mob vineyards around infamous Corleone; tells the stories of some of the island’s most prominent landowning families; and introduces us to film and music celebrities and other foreigners drawn to Sicily’s vineyards. His book takes wine as a powerful metaphor for the independent identity of this mythic land, which has thrown off its legacies of violence, corruption, and poverty to emerge, finally free, with its great soul intact.
"From the craggy vineyards of Mount Etna to the tiny moscato-producing island of Pantelleria, and from every angle of its wine hierarchy, Mr. Camuto extracts fascinating and illuminating details about Sicily, bringing to life the characters, conflicts and family dynamics that define a culture and its wines. It’s a beautiful, enthralling work, eternally wistful and hopeful, much like Sicily itself". --Eric Asimov of The New York Times Read full review here.
"Camuto admires those solitary explorers, and follows them to every corner of this small, diverse island. He brings them to life with vivid descriptions and lively quotations. He also weaves in history and cultural analysis, which gives context to the characters. He predictably favors "tradition" over anything too modern or international. But his affection for Sicily and its citizens is heartfelt, and his skill and enthusiasm combine to create a captivating portrait of a singular culture". --The Wine Spectator.Read full review here.
"The author digs deep into the rich artisanal soil of Sicily's wine culture, unearthing centuries-old lineage and lore while closely studying villages, vintages, vintners, vats and a few intriguing vendettas." --Kirkus Review
"He calls it a Sicilian wine odyssey, but it's more. Camuto has written a cultural history of the island by telling the stories of a dozen wine growing families..."-- Ron Holden in Crosscut. Read full blog here.
"For me reading Palmento was like watching the movie Sideways. An entertaining book about wine and at the same time, not only about wine... Follow Robert through his Sicilian adventures and misadventures making you eager to want to to see how it ends and at the same time, you just don’t want it to. " --Vinosseur. Read full blog here.
WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER....
See the Video Trailer for PALMENTO on You Tube....
Robert reads from and discusses Palmento at McNally Jackson books in NY Sept. 2010.
Robert on radio