Monks make wine, and my neighbour used to make it in his garage. But drug addicts? Recovering drug addicts, that is, at San Patrignano, the largest drug rehabilitation centre in the world, located just outside Rimini in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
Although San Patrignano's four reds and two whites are exported internationally, they've just become available in Ontario, exclusively at Toronto's Terroni restaurants.
Unlike the plonk made in that garage, the wines produced at San Patrignano are excellent. Their top crus consistently score tre bicchieri, the top grade from the most authoritative voice in Italian wine, Gambero Rosso, and 90 points in the Wine Spectator.
San Patrignano's working ideology also scores enthusiastic reviews. The idea is simple: Teach young people dealing with addiction how to work hard, be responsible, and take pride in producing something of the highest rank, and you help build their self-esteem. San Patrignano founder Vincenzo Muccioli believed that with that kind of positive work ethic, these ragazzi, as they are known, stand a good chance of integrating into society.
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