Est! Est! Est! is the most famous white wine of Montefiascone, Italy. Since 1966, the wines produced within the 1,000 acres of the region can qualify for Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) designation under Italian wine laws.
We have to go back in time, all the way to the year 1111. Henri V of Germany was on his way to Rome to be crowned Emperor by Pope Paschal II. During the trip, he was accompanied by Bishop Johannes Defuk, a great admirer and lover of wine. Preceding him along the way was Martino, his servant, elevated to the rank of cupbearer taster, who was responsible for signalling the presence of good wine in the places visited during the voyage. There was a clear agreement between the Bishop and the cupbearer: if Martino tasted a good wine, he had to write “EST” on the door of the inn, which means “it is” in Latin, and signaled to Defuk that this location served quality wine. When he arrived at Montefiascone, Martino found the wine so good, he wrote EST! EST!! EST!! on the door of the tavern (it is three times as good), with many exclamation points.
And this is how EST! EST!! EST!!! became the name of this wine from Lazio, with a protected designation of origin (PDO).
Once he arrived in Montefiascone, the Bishop tasted the wine and fully shared the opinion of his cupbearer, so he decided to extend his stay until the day of his death which, according to hearsay, occurred because he drank too much. He was buried in the Church of San Flaviano, where you can still read today the inscription on his tombstone: “Because of too much EST! here lies dead Bishop Johannes Defuk“. In recognition of the warm hospitality he received, the Bishop donated 24,000 coins to the village, provided that on the anniversary of his death, a small bottle of wine is poured on his grave. This tradition is maintained each year. The memory of Bishop Johannes Defuk is also celebrated during a costumed procession that takes place in the month of August, during the “Festival of wine”. The event lasts a week and offers a variety of colourful shows, such as : the race with archers and Knights, medieval music and dance, the market, a medieval procession and Mass celebrated in the Church of San Flaviano.
When was the last time you had dinner in an Italian restaurant in Canada and you thought you were dining in Italy? That’s exactly how “Ospitalità Italiana Certified”restaurants want you to feel when you visit their fine dining establishments.
Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.
Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.
So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.