The Godfather – An Italian Showdown
2nd December 2022
My reader, come closer, I have something to tell you…
Our family is about to go to war, a disagreement has come about, disputing what is the best Traditional Italian Sparkling Wine, it is up to you to present a firm offensive as we come under attack by the 5 families.
The streets of New York are about to run red, pink and white with Sparkling Wine, bubbles will overflow, fizz will be spilled and corks will fly.
Understanding the true characteristics of Traditional Method Italian Sparkling Wine takes an open heart and a soul that is willing to find the answer. It also takes nerves of steel, to withstand the opposition and not to break under pressure, we must defend the honour and protect our family.
Let’s meet the 5 families who will be defending their honour against each other.
Don, Villa Sandi
Villa Sandi dates back to 1622, with their Palladian-style Villa located among the green hills of the Marca Trevigiana, the brand is owned by the Moretti Polegato family, producing what seems like an endless supply of Prosecco and Traditional Method Sparkling Wines but never compromising on quality.
You can explore The Sparkling Wines of Villa Sandi right here on Glass of Bubbly to see what else they have to offer.
Don, Cantina Rotaliana
Located in Northern Italy, at the foot of the breath-taking Dolomites, near the renowned Garda Lake and the city of Trento, Cantina Rotaliana has over 80 years of experience crafting Wine and Sparkling Wine, dating back to 1931.
Don, Ferrari Trento
The creation of Ferrari Trento is all down to the highly regarded and respected Giulio Ferrari, who started his journey back in 1902, he created his extraordinary vineyard/winery in the divine Trento city in Italy, then started crafting unforgettable Sparkling Wines. Giulio wanted to be able to turn the area of Trentino into a place capable of competing with the finest French Champagnes and I think it’s safe to say that his dream became a reality.
A newer family to the scene, created in 2016 in the north of Modena, Ventiventi means 2020 in Italian, the company was designed and built following a modern concept, being innovative and using modern technology.
Under the guidance of Montecappone, one of their close family associates has been deployed to tackle this ‘complication’. Mirizzi was created in 2015 from the idea of Gianluca Mirizzi, after a 20 year apprenticeship at the helm of Montecappone.
The First Hit
During the production of The Godfather – Director, Francis Ford Coppola, held an improvisational rehearsal session consisting of the main cast. He hosted a dinner, a ‘family meal’, that had the main cast sit down in character and he wouldn’t allow them to break character throughout the entire night, this helped the cast to organically establish the family roles seen in the final film.
January 14th, 1944, New York City
‘Pop’, a shot echoes through the lifeless streets of New York and a bottle falls on the hard, cold stone pavement, with the moon’s light illuminating a lonely cork rolling into view, a hit has just taken place and the first bottle has been popped, a war is about to begin for the best Traditional Italian Sparkling Wine.
Back in the New York estate of Villa Sandi – brothers, Opere Trevigiane Serenissima and Opere Trevigiane Riserva lie sleeping in their home, when the glass keeping the cold breeze out of their rooms starts to chatter, ‘pop’ ‘pop’ ‘pop’, corks start flying, fortunately both the Opere brothers were able to seek cover under their beds. Their Made Bottles were quick to action, chasing off the attackers and securing the estate.
At the same time, a truck filled with corks being driven by Mirizzi’s ’68 Extra Brut is hit by a small black Austin 8 car, causing it to swerve onto the pavement and knock down a lamppost, ’68 Extra Brut’s head is knocked rather hard, blood is starting to flow down his label, his head is spinning, not noticing an assailant opening the door of the now immobile Austin 8 car and rushing up to the driver’s door, firing two shots through the broken window.
Ventiventi got wind of the attacks on Villa Sandi, so doubled the security around their compound and estate, possibly saving them from an attack.
Mirizzi’s ’68 Extra Brut holds his arm in anguish as he tries to stop the leak and heal the crack in his bottle, he’s survived his attacker, but with sirens blaring from just a block away, he can’t stick around, turning the key to the ignition, trying to get the truck started, it keeps ticking over, left with no choice, he abandons the truck and flees on foot through the closest alley.
This night has may have ended, but the bubbly wars have just begun.
The Delegation of Blame
Director, Coppola, let the wedding scenes play out naturally and shot them in a guerilla style, he chose to let the actors act, improvise and stay in character just like they did with the ‘family dinner’, shooting specific scenes amongst the organically acted background display, the reason was that he only had two days to capture the scenes he needed.
The compound of Ferrari Trento looks like they’re gearing up for the war in Europe, the Don of the family can be seen ordering men around like a general, surrounded by 6 body bottles, his son and his daughter, Maximum Blanc de Blancs and Maximum Rosé are there as well, you don’t often see the Ferrari Trento family all in one place, each being in charge of their own operations, their time is more valuable apart, but despite last night’s attacks, they’ve come together, however the question lingers, is it for defense, or for an attack?
Just a few hours ago the New York estate of Villa Sandi was alive with activity, but after the attack last night, the estate hosts only a handful of men, some posted at the gates and a few walking the grounds, an unusual sight to behold, being so empty, but perhaps a strategy that will keep the Villa Sandi family out of harm’s way.
Mirizzi’s ’68 Extra Brut managed to find his way back home, where his wife Pas Dosé was pacing around with such anxious worry, that she was causing their rug to fade. When he passed through the doorway, the relief she felt was short-lived as she saw his bleeding arm. After being patched up, the Mirizzis knew they had to strike back, they had lost their cork transport to the police, and they knew they couldn’t let down Don, Montecappone, the very man that sent them to conquer New York City.
At Cantina Rotaliana, the night had been far less frightening. The grounds of their New York estate stood quiet, no words had left the grounds, and eyes were starting to turn in their direction. Don, Cantina Rotaliana sat in his grand office chair, surrounded by his children, the oldest being Riserva Brut 2012, followed by the twins Extra Brut and Brut Rosé. “In times of conflict, people act on impulse, they forget about strategy and order, they forget to watch the backs of their allies, your enemy becomes most vulnerable when he trusts in a friend” The Don, Cantina Rotaliana addresses his children, offering them wisdom in these troubling times.
The compound of Ventiventi has since filled with heavy trucks, according to some eyes on the street, those trucks rolled up empty, it’s yet to be known what their plans are, but Ventiventi is not letting anyone from outside of their organization in.
Hanging around a movie set long enough might get you a part, the cat that Vito Corleone has with him in his study was a stray that often hung around the set and actually took a liking to Marlon Brando, who played Vito Corleone. On the day they shot that scene, Director Coppola picked up the cat and told Brando to improvise with it, the bond between Brando and the cat was strong, with the cat staying in place for much of the day.
Inside the small rented apartment of Mirizzi’s ’68 Extra Brut and Pas Dosé have laid out a plan, after the attack on ’68 Extra Brut’s life and operation, he can’t leave it unanswered, he can’t show weakness, he must strike back, and with his wife, Pas Dosé, by his side, they could both do some damage, but to whom will the attack be aimed at?
The trucks at the compound of Ventiventi have roared to life, their engines, ignited in anger, force the wheels to move them forward out onto the public streets, rolling out like a convoy of 8 trucks. The backs are covered, concealing what lurks inside. Roaring away, a little boy in dirty and torn clothing looks on with fear in his eyes, after he’s counted the trucks, he runs as fast as his little legs can carry him to a public phone box and dials a number.
Ring Ring, Ring Ring, a bottle in a black suit answers the phone in a crowded, intimate family home filled with suited bottles. “Hello”, he stands intently listening to the person on the other end, without saying another word, he slams down the phone and rushes into the dining room where Opere Trevigiane Serenissima and Opere Trevigiane Riserva from Villa Sandi are enjoying a quiet home-cooked meal, “They’re on the move” the black-suited bottle speaks, bringing the good conversation to a standstill, a second of contemplation passes in the mind of the two Villa Sandi brothers. Exchanging a look, Opere Trevigiane Serenissima nods to a burly bottle at the other end of the table and what was for just a second a silent home, thunders into a fighting life as the suited-bottles start gearing up for something big.
The Maximum Siblings from Ferrari Trento are still sealed inside their compound, surrounded by Made Bottles, keeping the place on lockdown. Their actions have been defensive orientated, are they waiting for retaliation? Or do they know a war is coming and are just trying to defend their production.
Two black cars have just left the Cantina Rotaliana estate in New York, one moving at a snail’s pace, and the second squeaking its tires as it makes haste to its destination.
Under A Cloud Of Darkness
Paramount foresaw a great success, they bought the rights to Mario Puzo’s Godfather novel before it was even released in 1969. The book spent more than a year on the bestseller chart and sold more than 9 million copies in the first two years.
The 8 trucks of Ventiventi barrel down the streets of New York, with a firm destination in mind, the three Ventiventi brothers ride on board – Lambrusco, Rosé and Blanc de Blancs – feared amongst their enemies and currently armed. The first truck slows, Lambrusco in the second truck, confused about the hold-up, jumps out and investigates, heading for the first truck, but before he reaches his hand out to open the truck door, he sees two overturned cars blocking the street ahead. ‘Crash!’ a 1940s American garbage truck slams head first into the side of the second truck in the convoy, smashing and cracking the bottles hiding inside. Another crash is heard by Lambrusco, but his vision of the back 6 trucks has been blocked, the bottles from the leading truck dismount and surround Lambrusco to protect, and then almost instantly, ‘pop’, ‘pop’, ‘pop’, ‘pop’, corks are flying into the back 6 trucks, but before Lambrusco and his bottles can make their way round, the street is littered with Ventiventi bottles, including his two brothers, Rosé and Blanc de Blancs, an ambush has taken place, dealing a devastating blow to the Ventiventi family.
Mirizzi’s ’68 Extra Brut and Pas Dosé make their way to the outside of Ferrari Trento’s compound’s solid brick wall. Crouching down, trying to conceal themselves, they reach into their pockets and pull out some explosives, they then start planting their explosives, ready to blow through the brick wall. ’68 Extra Brut looks up at Pas Dosé and utters the words “I Love You”, raising her hand to his label, she says “I Know”. The Explosives have been planted and they’ve reached the minimal safe distance, they ignite the fuse and watch the brick wall disappear in a loud cloud of dust.
(5 Minutes Before Blast) The Maximum siblings walk out into the courtyard, in the middle of their grounds stands Cantina Rotaliana’s Riserva Brut 2012, he’s been escorted in by their Made Bottles, and he’s the first to speak “I Have An Offer You Can’t Refuse.” He continues to explain his idea to unite and remove the other families from New York, they both have the bottlepower, the corks and the equipment to do it, but a great trust would be needed to proceed on an agreement of this magnitude.
(2 Minutes Before Blast) Cantina Rotaliana’s Riserva Brut 2012 stands surrounded by an army of Ferrari bottles, all focused with their eyes on him, waiting to see what the Maximum siblings say, will they give the order to remove Riserva Brut 2012 from the equation, or will they invite him in to talk more, “I Like The Idea, But I Don’t Like You” says Maximum Blanc de Blancs. Maximum Rosé takes a step forward and says “You Shot One Of Our Bottles And Left Him To Leak In A Dark Alley Of New York. You Started This Conflict, Now You Will Be Taken Out The Same Way.” Maximum Rosé pulls out a cork and aims it towards Riserva Brut 2012, his eyes wide, fearing the end.
“BANG” from the side of the compound a blast fires bricks and rubble into the air, knocking many bottles to the ground, and before anyone can get back to their feet, or even understand what has just happened, corks come flashing through the dust screen where the brick wall once stood, two figures fire corks faster than you can count, being shot from two FG 42s, knocking down and cracking many bottles, Sparkling Wine starts spilling onto the pavement. Cantina Rotaliana’s Riserva Brut 2012 dives for cover, Ferrari’s Maximum Rosé turns her gun towards the dust and opens fire, but she gets hit with a cork, cracking her glass. She drops her gun, trying to stop the liquid loss.
The Last Taste
It was Marlon Brando who insisted that his character Don Corleone look “like a bulldog”, so, taking the initiative, he stuffed his cheeks with cotton wool just before his audition, he would then get the part and for the final film a proper mouthpiece was created by a dentist (which is now in the American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York) this caused Brando to spend 3 hours in make-up every day, getting his specialised mouthpiece fitted with steel-bar dentures that sat below and in front of his lower teeth with drops of resin at either end to give him his unique jawline.
Cantina Rotaliana’s Extra Brut and Brut Rosé come bursting through the closed-off gates in their black Cadillac, to aid their brother in the attack. Stepping out of the car and firing corks, one seems to hit a target, making them stumble, but upon making a hit, they take one right back, Extra Brut is popped down and out of the fight, before Brut Rosé can try and help her fallen brother, the Cadillac is lit up like a Christmas tree with sparks turning the car into swiss cheese.
Maximum Blanc de Blancs and Maximum Rosé are both pinned down, with the dust starting to settle, this is when Maximum Blanc de Blancs believes is the last chance he has to charge the attackers, “If We Can’t See Them, They Can’t See Us” he says, before rushing into the dust, a continuum of flashes comes from the dust, Maximum Rosé looks out, hoping to see him return or for one of the guns to stop firing, but nothing changes.
Cantina Rotaliana’s Riserva Brut 2012 quietly walks up behind Maximum Rosé, and without saying a word, pops a cork in the back of her bottle, the Don, Ferrari Trento will soon get wind of this great loss to his family, but back to the moment at hand, the dust has just settled, bottles lay across the floor and Cantina Rotaliana’s Brut Rosé leaps out from behind cover and opens fire, popping some corks into the Mirizzi’s direction, taking out Pas Dosé and wounding ’68 Extra Brut before being taken out, Riserva Brut 2012 rushes ’68 Extra Brut from behind, tackling him to the ground, using hand to hand combat, Riserva Brut 2012 manages to defeat the last Mirizzi.
Getting his breath back and rising to his feet, Cantina Rotaliana’s Riserva Brut 2012 may have survived, but he has lost more than anyone should, two major families have just been removed from New York. It is the families of Ventiventi, Villa Sandi and Cantina Rotaliana who remain, but there can only be one.
6 Months later Ventiventi’s Lambrusco was taken out in a street market, Villa Sandi’s Opere Trevigiane Riserva was betrayed by his new girlfriend, which caused his brother, Opere Trevigiane Serenissima to lash out, rampaging through the small organised gangs of New York in search of the girl, accidentally bumping into Cantina Rotaliana’s Riserva Brut 2012 in the middle of a cork operation, which caused a shoot out, where Opere took a cork in the leg and Riserva was cracked under a palate of unlicensed corks.
The contents of this article are a fabricated story, drawing inspiration from the incredible work of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and using Italian Wineries and their Sparkling Wine Labels as the main characters.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.