Wine and The Mob

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A few months ago, Roberto Saviano, in a television broadcast  vieni via con me (“come away with me”) which drew a record number of viewers, tackled delicate issues, and in particular one that touches those of us who produce wine. Saviano said that the sector prefered by the mob for reinvesting dirty money is that of hotels and restaurants. If we think about it carefully, these are precisely our principle clients. We serve them directly or indirectly through importers, agents and distributors. Dear wine producers, I asked myself a few questions: is selling wine to these apparently normal restaurants, with the possibility that they are paying us with dirty money, like buying a stolen jacket? If by magic, starting tomorrow, the mob ceased to exist, would  half of our sales disappear with it? Or perhaps it would be better to follow the famous Latin saying, pecunia non olet – and who cares?

Certainly it is not our affair to go and ask where the money from someone else’s activity comes from. In a certain way, this is a delicate moment in the global market, in which purchases and payments are anything but simple.

The thought, perhaps overly ethical, remains and it saddens me: the global economy is powerfully influenced by capital coming from activity that is far from transparent or is illicit, and all of us, whether we like it or not, are directly or indirectly involved.  What do you think?