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Barolo

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Tasting with Giacomo Conterno in Barolo

    “My goal is put my signature on my wine,” says Giacomo Conterno, speaking about the importance – or not – of critics in the wine world. This statement follows a discussion of the twenty-year debate between the “traditionalists” and “modernists” in Barolo. A brilliant and charming conversationalist, I found him a fountain of […]



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Visiting G.D. Vajra Family in Piedmont

Wonderful visit today with the fabulously closely knit G.D. Vajra family, who produces Barolo as well as Barbera, Dolcetto, native grapes … and Riesling! Okay, so here’s the story. This is a family of poets and dreamers, with everything beginning with Aldo Varja, an organic winemaker and traditionalist who adheres to old style winemaking methods […]



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Visiting Oddero Winery in Piedmont

It’s not often you find a winemaker who looks more like an Milan-based socialite, yet Mariacristina Oddero of Oddero winery in La Morra fits the mold. Beyond Mariacristina’s charm, the first thing one notices is the gorgeous “L-shaped” house/winery at the top of the hill and the tall green trees in the driveway. The winery […]



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A look at Marchesi di Gresy in Barbaresco

  So the first thing you notice when you step inside the ancient doors of Marchesi di Gresy and see the tall fair-haired man with his welcoming outstanding hand is the New Zealand accent – and upfront friendliness – of cellar master Jeffrey Chilcott. He came to Italy years ago, having bitten the wine but […]



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Exploring Pio Cesare

Augusto Boffa is a man who likes to drive fast, hugging the vine-filled curves of the tiny hillside road that runs from the winery in downtown Alba to the pretty outdoor La Contea restaurant in Nieve. Maybe he’s just hungry, yet there is a certain determination in the way he drives – the same determination […]



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Conversation with Pietro Ratti of Renato Ratti

So I still remember the moment I heard Pietro Ratti speak – possibly seven years ago in New York – about his winery and the exciting changes in Piedmont in terms of the historical move toward quality. With that, you can imagine my excitement for Pietro to personally give me a tour and tasting of […]



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Experiencing the wines of Giacomo Fenocchio in Barolo

“Would you like a taste of my special 90 day maceration Barolo?” asks energetic Claudio Fenocchio with a smile. In his hand are four glasses and we are immediately off to the cellar to sample some vintages just about to be bottled. This is my first encounter with Giacomo Fenocchio in Monforte d’Alba though this […]



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Experiencing Terre del Barolo

“Wine is not a job, it’s a passion,” says enologist Danielle Ponzo, technical director of the Terre del Barolo cooperative with over 400 producers. The consortium was created on December 8, 1958 when local school teacher Arnaldo Rivera and a few friends decided to form a cooperative for small growers who lacked the finances to […]



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Experieincing Massolino winery in Serralunga d’Alba

Sometimes you just get lucky in life. The gentlemen above, Alessandro Pontarelli, has the challenging – yet interesting – job of being a combination host/educator for the Massolino family in Serralunga d’Alba. Founded in 1896 by Giovanni Massolino, this winery has remain dedicated through four generations to producing soe of the best high quality wines […]



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Visiting Elio Grasso in Barolo

“Welcome,” says Roberto Bordignon, pictured above with Madame Grasso of Azienda Agricola Elio Grasso in Monforte d’Alba, an enormous property near the top of the highest hill. The family had owned the area for centuries – yet back then it was mainly a farm with livestock, fruit, and vegetables as well as wine for their […]



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Experiencing Paolo Scavino in Barolo

  “Welcome!” says beautiful blonde Enrica Scavino, welcoming to her home. She looks a bit like a modern Samantha from the ancient TV show “Bewitched” and is extremely charming. I snapped a photo of her great great grandfather in the 1970’s as he stood in the vines, quite a charming photo Yet according to Enrica […]



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Visiting Luciano Sandrone in Barolo

So I remember the first time I met Barbara Sandrone … it was in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York city, and she was pouring her Barbera in a gorgeous “modernist” yellow and black dress that were the same colors of the New York City taxi cab. She was pouring her Barbara and I […]



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Meeting Beppe Caviola of Damilano Barolo

Very interesting to meet Beppe Caviola of Damilano Barolo, and taste four of his wines. In 2002 he received the Winemaker of the Year award from Gambero Rosso as well as many others, and the four wines showed his intelligence and insight. The 2008 Lecinquevigne is a blend of five vineyards with vines aged up […]



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Pietro Ratti speaks to New York’s Wine Media Guild about Barolo

Pietro Ratti Tom Maresca and Charles Scicilone of New York’s Wine Media Guild have done the impossible — they have put together a fantastic tasting of 2005 Barolos with Pietro Ratti, son of the late Renato Ratti and owner of the family winery in La Morra, to come to NY and speak to us. Overall, […]



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Understanding Barolo

  “Why is Barolo so expensive!” I remember asking a savvy clerk in my local wine store, fresh from my first class in Italian wines. As an exuberant young student I had been eager to taste the regions I studied, yet the upper-market wines from Piedmont seemed totally out of reach. Even the new vintages […]