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How Coronavirus is devastating Italian artisans

The devastation caused by the Coronavirus is truly world-wide. Our hearts live in the USA, Italy, and PORTUGAL... so as this has played out, the emotions have been running high for all of us. As a small family tour company, we cannot do what we are called to do, and all of our seasonal team are wondering how they are going to make it, both in the US, Italy and Portugal.

Every day, we are also talking on the phone or in chat, not just with our team, but our suppliers. "Suppliers"... What a cold and businesslike term to use for them. No, no, No. These are dear personal friends that are part of our extended family. These are people we have bonds with that transcend "business". We attend each other's weddings, we vacation together, we help each other when one is down, and we always have each other's backs. Oh, yeah, and we also help each other in our small businesses. Whether it is Enrico and Antonella who run Catina de Ricci winery, or Roberto and his family that run the Piombaia winery. Serena and her entire family that have the little Madonna delle Macchie Winery and Olive mill, or Lorenzo and Barbara that have the small Balsamic Vinegar operation in Modena, or even Carlo with the tiny Limoncello lab on the Amalfi Coast. These are all FAMILY, and there are so many more.

Our team on both sides of the ocean cannot work, and our "suppliers" are fighting to survive. For example, none of them are legally allowed to do any commercial shipments during this crisis. All of their staff are not allowed to work, so, for example, Enrico has to tend his vineyards by himself (as does Roberto, or Leonardo), while Enrico's son tends the wine in the cellar (As does Roberto's son, and Serena, Leonardo's sister). Moreover, it is APRIL. This is the time that there is a legal requirement to move their wine into barrels, but they have no staff to do it. If they can't, there is no 2019 Brunello, no 2019 Vino Nobile. If they cannot tend their vineyards or olive orchards, what will they make wine and olive oil with for 2020? They would all be trying to make it all the way to 2022! This would mean the destruction of these small, family artisans. We have heard them literally break down in tears speaking on the other end of the phone.

BUT... They can actually ship to private homes, and if they get enough, that might be enough to help keep their heads above water as they ride this out. So we offered to put up this web page as a conduit to make it easy to order. CDV does not take a penny. But Enrico, Roberto and Serena would not accept leaving it at that. They knew that we were also setting up a GoFundme coronavirus small business relief fund to try to help the people that do seasonal work with us, and they insisted that they donate 10% of what they receive to it. Moreover, once Italy is out of the hot water, if the U.S. is still overwhelmed, they will help organizing something to help North. America. We are TRULY in this together

Oh my God. What a beautiful thing. We started helping them. They in turn are helping us, and countless of our guests have been asking how they can help everyone. A beautiful circle of love. We have always been in this to create a giant world-wide family. We have always said "It is about the people", and we have lived it. And now, in this great time of collective need, it is showing more than ever.

Please know that CDV does not teak a single penny from any of this. For us, this is entirely a charitable project. Frankly, there have been THREE rays of sunshine we have been experiencing through this crisis:

  • Our guests that we see as extended family have shown amazing love and kindness.
  • Our family. Team, Suppliers, Guests... We are all bonding more than ever through this tragedy.
  • We can help others in need, and multiply it by acting as a conduit to multiply that help.