“I heard it through the grapevine...” Well Marvin Gaye might mean something quite different, but that's literally what's going to happen in Cormons, from October 23 to October 27, with the 22nd edition of the Jazz & Wine of Peace 2019 festival.
40 events that will attract some 7.500 people to this tiny town near Gorizia, for a combination of wine tastings and live music played in theatres, wine cellars, bar and restaurants and... in the middle of vineyards! A very peculiar format refined and improved over the years by Circolo Culturale Controtempo, who created it twenty-two years ago and is in charge of all the arrangements.
100 artists, among which world famed jazz musicians like John McLaughlin, Bill Frisell, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves and Nubya Garcia will perform in Cormons and nearby towns, including Gorizia, Nova Gorica and Dobrovo in Slovenia, and also in fascinating location like the Abbazia di Rosazzo. Extremely interesting musical choices, carefully planned by the festival's artistic director Mauro Bardusco, enrich its live schedule.
Very special features will be the Round Midnight concerts, bicycle rides to vineyards to enjoy live music among the vines, and “Jazz&Test” events: a trademark experience including five wine tastings presented by a sommelier, each matched with a song especially written for that specific wine.
A welcoming territory for an unforgettable stay
Wineries and touristic accomodation professionals work together with Controtempo to offer a unique experience that, though revolving around jazz and wine, implies an overall cultural approach to the territory, its products and its story.
“Here visitors can practice a real slow tourism: most of them lodge in the local B&Bs but also at the very winemakers' who arrange rooms for the accomodation” says Paola Martini, Controtempo's president and a member of the association for fifteen years.
This full collaboration guarantees quality hospitality. “They all make themselves available and open at any time. With concerts going on all day, from morning to late in the night, you can go and sit in a restaurant and have a hot meal served in front of you even after midnight”. Being it a savouring frico, or a musetto (a typical Friulian salami), osterias and tavernas will welcome visitors with their amazing local dishes.
Matching wine and jazz: the festival's story
“We really saw the situation change radically through the years. Now we almost struggle to include all the wineries, but in the beginning it was hard to convince winemakers. We strived to make them understand that bringing in people to taste and also to listen to music, would have helped to reach out to new clients, not only to those who already knew their wines”, says Martini.
And what wines! The Collio area is renowned for its wine production, and Cormons is an outstanding, special spot because, though being a small town, it counts almost 60 producers in its area, as we already outlined in our blog before. “Everyone here in the Collio area makes great wines, and each one has its peculiarity, this land has always been committed to wine growing”, Martini stresses.
Controtempo eventually won over winemakers' doubts, and now the Consorzio Collio, Consorzio Colli Orientali, Cantina Produttori di Cormons and Enoteca di Cormons are among Jazz & Wine of Peace's many partners. “We explained to them that this idea would have worked not only during the festival but all year round, because making people feel wine emotionally would have taken them back here. And now, we see visitors coming again to spend some weekends, or simply stopping by to stock on food, cheese, marmelades and wine”.
An international attitude
But let's not forget about the “P”, standing for peace... It's the winning feature that gives Jazz & Wine of Peace an international mood. “It's really important for us – Paola Martini insists – Going back to when we started, twenty-three years ago, here we were just in the middle of the ex-Jugoslavian conflict. Then, Cantina Produttori made the “Peace Wine” and that prompted the urge for a message of peace and openess”. Cormons is in a very strategic area, being incredibly close to Slovenia and not so far from Austria. “Since the beginning we immediately contacted Slovenia and we organized concerts together with their Kulturni Dom (Culture House). Now war is over near here, but there are still conflicts around the world so it's a much needed message even today”.
This approach surely helped the festival attract visitors from abroad: last years there came people from Germany, Austria and Slovenia of course, nearby Croatia but also from Norway, Finland and... Japan!
Will you join in too?
More info about tourism in Cormons here: https://www.cormons.info/
How to get there: https://www.turismofvg.it/Info-utili/Come-arrivare
Tickets and reservations: www.controtempo.org
Here you can dowload Jazz & Wine of Peace 2019 full program: