The Elderberry plant inspired legends that have their roots in ancient times. Its white flowers fruits are used to producedelicious drinks.. But st one time, its production was reserved for funeral rites.
If there is one plant that naturally exudes an aura of sacredness around it, it is the Elderberry. Its innocent white flowers can be found during a spring walk along a stream that murmurs as it descends into the valley. With its large, voluminous foliage, its smooth, light wood, and that black, shiny berry with its purple stem, the Elderberry enraptures our imagination, taking us back to ancient times when nature was at one with man, who had a deep, sacred respect for it. Times in which the Elder tree, among the many that inspired terrible superstitions, instead showed its kind face to passers-by who believed, like us on a spring day, in the vivid testimony that the beauty of nature offers.
The Elder, “gentle tree”
The Elder has inspired so many legends and popular beliefs that it would be impossible to describe them all in a few lines. Howerver, it can be said that it remains a gentle tree, friend of men and animals. It was planted to encourage fertility, never mistreated as a protector from evil spirits, used in Christian funeral rites as viaticum for the afterlife. The playing of the flute, as ancient as it was poor, wanted to empty the pith of the wood, replacing it with a slightly longer branch and a hemp ball, making a flute whose sound thwarted the spells, just like in Mozart’s Magic Flute by Mozart.
The legend of Frau Holda
A lover of the lake lands, in the Germanic tradition he gave birth to the legend of Frau Holda, a beautiful golden-haired woman patroness of childbirth, domestic animals and winter, a benign spirit who makes her appearance at the springs, lakes and crystal-clear streams that dot the Alpine and pre-Alpine territory. Even today, in some German-speaking village where grandparents tell their stories to their grandchildren, at the sight of snowflakes that slowly descend from the sky, while someone exclaims “Frau Holle is making the bed!”.
A pleasure also … “land”
These are stories that made the Elderberry one of the most fascinating protagonists of the Alpine tradition and beyond. But of this gentle tree that has survived almost intact to the present day. In fact, a few years ago some archaeological excavations located between northern Italy and Switzerland unearthed large quantities of Elderberry seeds dating back to the Copper Age, which, according to experts, were used to produce strong fermented drinks. Their consumption, however, apparently was not reserved for the living. They were in fact laid beside the deceased, whose passage to the afterlife was supposed to be made more “pleasant” precisely by the consumption of the drink.
Having survived to this day, we find all the mysticism of Elderberry in the persuasive color of Violet, the liqueur of Boldini winery obtained from the skilful maceration in grappa of the ripe fruits of 100% Grison Elderberry. A sensory experience that, thanks to the heavens and the Boldini winery, can be enjoyed without having to pass away …
… if you’re feeling inspired and want to taste Violet, click here