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Italian winemakers to meet with the pope

A group of 150 Italian winemakers, grape growers and sommeliers are to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican in January to ask for him to pray for a good harvest in 2015.

Pope Francis. Photo credit Natacha Pisarenko

According to reports in the Italian media, the meeting was organised by Franco Ricci, director of the Italian wine guide Bibenda and president of the Italian Foundation of Sommeliers.

This year has been one to forget for Italian winemakers, with the country bringing in its smallest harvest for 50 years due to devastating hailstorms across Italy. In addition, domestic consumption of wine continues to decline in the country.

Pope Francis, whose grandfather was a winemaker in Piedmont, has been open about his love of wine and often refers to it in his homilies.

“There is no party without wine: imagine finishing the wedding feast of Cana drinking tea,” he once said.

Earlier this year, db reported that he had taken to using Argentinian wine during Mass, though has since switched to Italian “holy” wine Vin Santo.

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